Bukti tunjuk Anwar bebas, hanya jika mahkamah bebas...
Mahkamah Persekutuan bersedia mengumumkan keputusan kes kontroversi yang bermula pada 2008, ketika Anwar mengaku tidak bersalah meliwat bekas pembantunya, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan di mahkamah. Ia kali kedua beliau berhadapan dakwaan liwat, selepas kali pertama pada 1998 susulan pemecatannya daripada kerajaan.
Anwar berasa nikmat kemenangan pada 2012, apabila Mahkamah Tinggi membebaskan beliau, namun Mahkamah Rayuan tahun lalu mengetepikan keputusan itu, beberapa hari sebelum beliau dijadualkan bertanding pilihan raya kecil Kajang. Mahkamah Persekutuan akan memutuskan untuk mengekalkan keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan atau kekal dengan keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi.
The Malaysian Insider mendapatkan pandangan pemerhati mengenai jangkaan mereka terhadap keputusan esok. Mereka berpendapat, kemungkinan Anwar akan dibebaskan, namun tangan-tangan "politik" mungkin muncul dan menyaksikan bekas timbalan perdana menteri itu dipenjara buat kali kedua.
TMI: Berdasarkan pemahaman anda mengenai kes ini, bagaimana anda menjangkakan keputusannya, dan mengapa?
Phil Robertson, timbalan pengarah Hak Asasi Manusia (Asia) Human Rights Watch: Menyedihkan, saya berpendapat beliau akan didapati bersalah. Kebanyakan mereka dalam komuniti antarabangsa, dan kerajaan lain turut mempunyai pendapat yang sama.
Kes ini satu lagi contoh di mana Malaysia membuat sesuatu yang menjatuhkan dirinya sendiri. Banyak isu yang perlu diselesaikan namun atas sebab-sebab tertentu kerajaan obses untuk mengambil tindakan terhadap pembangkang berbanding menyatupadukan rakyat.
Saya berpendapat beliau akan disabit kesalahan kerana kerajaan bertungkus lumus menggunakan sistem yang ada dalam kes ini. Kami berharap mahkamah akan bebas dan tidak berpihak serta membuat keputusan berdasarkan bukti.
Kerajaan merosakkan imej Anwar selama tujuh tahun melalui pendakwaan ini, yang kesannya besar terhadap pengundi Melayu – mereka menuduhnya dengan teruk sekali, melakukan sesuatu yang bercanggah dengan kepercayaan masyarakat Melayu berhubung orientasi seksual dan jantina, mendakwa beliau atas sesuatu yang bukan merupakan satu kesalahan, memanjangkan kes, mengalih perhatiannya daripada tugas sebagai ketua pembangkang, dan cuba menyumbat beliau balik ke penjara. Keseluruhan proses itu amat memalukan.
Hakikat yang kerajaan tetap meneruskan tindakan itu menunjukkan kurangnya visinya terhadap bagaimana Malaysia dilihat di mata dunia. Ini titik hitam untuk Malaysia. Saya berpendapat, kerajaan akan berhadapan kemarahan yang hebat di peringkat antarabangsa jika Anwar dipenjarakan.
Lim Chee Wee, presiden Majlis Peguam: Anwar harus dibebaskan, mudah sahaja, kerana bukti yang lemah. Dalam banyak aspek, kebarangkalian mencadangkan pendakwaan terpilih dan konspirasi.
Dr Bridget Welsh, penyelidik kanan Pusat Kajian Demokratik Asia, Universiti Kebangsaan Taiwan: Saya berpendapat tidak elok kita membuat spekulasi terhadap kehakiman, biarkan hakim membuat keputusan mereka berdasarkan lunas-lunas perundangan.
Jika begitu keadaannya, daripada perspektif perundangan, daripada beban pembuktian, beliau akan dibebaskan. Jika sebaliknya, itu keputusan politik.
Kes itu perlu dilihat secara keseluruhannya. Jelas terdapat beberapa persoalan di sini daripada segi pelaksanaan undang-undang. Namun yang penting, biar pihak kehakiman jalankan tugas mereka.
Persoalan berkenaan cara pengendalian bukti, persoalan berkenaan penggunaan undang-undang daripada segi pendakwaan terhadap beliau, dibandingkan dengan orang lain (dibangkitkan). Ia kelihatan seperti pendakwaan terpilih.
Datuk Sri Ambiga Sreenevasan, penaung Negara-Ku: Saya tidak boleh menjangkakan keputusan pada Selasa ini. Bagaimanapun, berdasarkan hujah yang dilaporkan dan yang saya dengar di mahkamah, saya menjangkakan beliau akan bebas.
Selain isu perundangan, saya percaya rakyat Malaysia sudah muak dengan kes liwat DSAI (Anwar). Sudah tiba masanya ia dihentikan. Beliau bukan Superman! Tidak bolehkah mereka jawab saja hujahnya di Parlimen? Kes ini, pada pendapat saya, mencerminkan rasa tidak selamat pihak yang berkuasa.
Dr Ooi Kee Beng, timbalan pengarah, Institut Kajian Asia Tenggara: Sekiranya keadilan wujud dalam kehakiman, jika kita ada kehakiman yang tidak dapat disangsikan, saya rasa beliau akan dibebaskan... ia lebih daripada sekadar keraguan yang munasabah.
Jadi, sekiranya saya melihat keseluruhan kes ketika ini, jika saya melihatnya hanya berdasarkan perundangan, pihak pendakwa kelihatan tidak melakukan tugas dengan sempurna.
Namun, ini hanya jika perundangan itu tidak dapat disangsikan.
Bagaimanapun, saya rasa keputusannya 50-50. Kerana kita perlu mengambil kira kemungkinan sebenar isu politik yang terlibat di sini.
Dalam kes ini, kita memang syak sesuatu yang mencurigakan berlaku. Saya tidak fikir ada penganalisis yang tidak mengesyaki sebarang manipulasi politik dalam perbicaraan yang memakan masa begitu lama ini. Selain daripada kes Anwar, berapa ramaikah lagi rakyat Malaysia yang didakwa dan disabit atas kesalahan liwat? Saya tak yakin tiada seorang pun rakyat Malaysia yang tidak melakukan liwat.
John Malott, bekas duta Amerika Syarikat ke Malaysia: Sukar meneka keputusannya, kerana kes ini bermotifkan politik sejak awalnya, bermula daripada pertemuan Saiful dengan Najib (Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak) sebelum pendakwaan difailkan.
Ini bukan sahaja pendapat saya, malah kerajaan dan organisasi hak asasi manusia turut merasakannya. Ini perbicaraan politik. Fikirkan tentang hakikat yang, dalam sejarah Malaysia, hanya tujuh kes seperti ini dibawa ke mahkamah, dan dua daripadanya melibatkan Anwar. Dan, pastinya kedua-duanya dihadapkan pada ketika yang baik daripada segi politik untuk kerajaan.
Jika hakim membuat keputusan semata-mata berdasarkan fakta, Anwar akan dibebaskan. Mark Trowell, peguam Australia yang memerhatikan perbicaraan asal di Mahkamah Tinggi bagi pihak Inter Parliamentary Union, menulis buku 300 muka surat menjelaskan secara terperinci segala bukti dan keterangan.
Saya percaya Mahkamah Tinggi membuat keputusan yang tepat; sementara Mahkamah Rayuan bertindak seperti mahkamah kangaroo, mengadakan perbicaraan dan menjatuhkan hukuman hampir serta merta, yang mana keseluruhan kes mengambil masa dua hari sahaja.
Saya kagum Mahkamah Tinggi bersetuju dengan perbicaraan yang agak lama dan soalan yang ditanya tidak berat sebelah. Peguam baru Anwar, Gopal Sri Ram, menyerang pendakwa raya kerajaan habis-habisan.
Sudah pasti, saya berharap Anwar akan didapati tidak bersalah. Tetapi, ini Malaysia, siapa tahu? Kita sudah banyak kali dikejutkan sebelum ini. – tmi
Video -WSJ Interview dengan Anwar
Evidence points to Anwar’s acquittal, but only if courts are free...
The Federal Court is set to announce its verdict over the Sodomy II case that began in 2008, when Anwar pleaded not guilty to sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in court. It was the second time he faced a sodomy charge, the first in 1998 after his sacking from government.
Anwar had tasted victory in 2012 when the High Court acquitted him, but the Court of Appeal overturned the decision last year, just days before he was to contest in the Kajang by-election.
The Federal Court will decide whether to uphold the Court of Appeal’s verdict, or stand by the High Court’s decision.
The Malaysian Insider asked several observers how they expected the verdict to play out tomorrow. They said that while the opposition leader should be acquitted of charges, “politics” might come into play and see the man – once Malaysia’s prime minister hopeful – imprisoned for a second time.
TMI: Based on what you know of the case, what do you expect the results of the sodomy case will be, and why?
Phil Robertson (pic above), deputy director, Human Rights Watch Asia division: Sadly, I think he’s going to be convicted. I think a lot of people in the international community, other governments think that way as well. There is a great deal of despair about that.
Once again, it is an example of Malaysia shooting itself in the foot. It has lots of issues to deal with, but for some reason the government is obsessed about knocking out the opposition rather than unite the people and bring the people forward.
The reason I think he will be convicted is because the government has worked very hard to pursue this case through the system. We hope that the court will be independent and impartial, and make their decision based on evidence.
What the government has done is tarnish Anwar’s reputation for seven years through this charge, which is very explosive among Malay voters – they have cast him in the worst possible manner, (accused him of acts) contrary to the beliefs of many Malays on sexual orientation and gender, deliberate smearing him with a charge that shouldn’t be a crime, dragging it out, distracting him from his duties as the opposition leader, and trying to put him back in prison.
The whole process, episode has been outrageous and shameful.
The fact that the government continues to go forward with this shows how it completely lacks the vision of how Malaysia perceived in the world. This is an extremely black mark in Malaysia. I think the government will be stunned by the depth of international anger if Anwar is convicted.
Lim Chee Wee, former Bar Council president: Anwar should be acquitted, simply because the evidence is weak. In any event, circumstances suggest conspiratorial and selective persecution.
Dr Bridget Welsh, senior researcher, Centre for Asia Democratic Studies, National Taiwan University: I think it’s not appropriate to speculate on the judiciary, let the judges make their decision and follow the letter of the law.
If that’s the case, from the legal perspective, from the burden of proof, the decision should be that he is acquitted. If it’s something else, then it’s a political decision.
One has to look at the case in totality. There are clearly issues here that raised questions in the application of the law. Ultimately, we should let the judiciary do their job.
The question of the handling of the evidence, the question associated with the application of the law in terms of prosecution of him as opposed to anyone else (was raised). It looks like selective persecution.
Datuk Seri Ambiga Sreenevasan (pic above), Negara-Ku patron: I cannot predict what the outcome will be on Tuesday. However, based on the arguments as reported and as I heard presented in court, I would anticipate an acquittal.
Quite apart from the legal issues before the court, I believe that Malaysians are truly sick of the sodomy cases against DSAI (Anwar). I think it’s time for the paranoia to stop. He is not superman! Can’t they just take on his arguments in Parliament? This case in my view (is) a serious reflection of the insecurity of those in power.
Dr Ooi Kee Beng, deputy director, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: If there were fairness in the judiciary, if we had a judiciary that was beyond reproach, I think he would acquitted… There is more than reasonable doubt.
So if I look at the whole case at this point, if look at this case as purely judicial, it looks to me that the prosecution has not done its job.
But this is if I assume that the judiciary is beyond reproach.
But I would say the outcome is 50-50. Because you have to consider the real possibility of the politics involved.
In this matter, you just have to suspect that something fishy is going on. I don’t think any analyst can say they do not suspect any political manipulation in this very long trial. Apart from Anwar’s case, how many other Malaysians were charged and convicted of sodomy? And I doubt not a single Malaysian commits sodomy.
John Malott, former United States ambassador to Malaysia: It is hard to predict the outcome, because this case has been politically motivated from the very beginning, going back to Saiful's meeting with Najib (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) before the charges were ever filed.
That is not just my opinion, because governments and human rights organisations around the world have said the same thing. This is a political trial. Think about the fact that only seven cases of this kind have ever gone to court in Malaysia's history, and two of them involved Anwar.
And of course, both cases were brought at politically opportune moments for the government.
If the judgment is made purely on the facts, then Anwar should be acquitted. Mark Trowell, an Australian lawyer who observed the original High Court trial on behalf of the Inter Parliamentary Union, wrote a 300-page book detailing all the evidence and testimony.
I believe that the High Court made the correct decision. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal acted more like a kangaroo court, holding hearings and rendering its judgment almost instantaneously, all within the course of two days.
I was impressed that the Federal Court held hearings over the course of many days and that the questions it asked were not biased. Anwar's new attorney, (Datuk Seri) Gopal Sri Ram, had the government prosecutor on the defensive throughout.
For sure, I hope that Anwar will be found not guilty, and I am moderately hopeful that he will be. But this is Malaysia, and who knows? We have been surprised so many times before. – tmi
In Solidarity with Anwar Ibrahim...
The crowd was reasonably ok. I would put it minimum at 2000. Maximum 3000. It was a good crowd. Majority were Malays but a sizeable number of non-Malays. The mainstream papers will put it down as 500 at the most. That will bring cheer to the UMNO people because then, it is no cause for worry for them. Anwar is becoming irrelevant.
If only they were right.
In any case, BN was represented by their 14th coalition partner- party PDRM who were present complete with recorders and video cameras. .
People came to listen about and of Anwar. When I took to the stage, I focused merely on the reasons why we are here showing our solidarity for Anwar. We are here in solidarity with what he represents- resistance to all the political evil. Also to remind ourselves, the fight against tumult and oppression and political evil must be continued to the end of our days.
I wasn’t interested to use the occasion to spread some delicious stories about the incompetence of the government, rising costs of living, deteriorating economic performance, trending towards current accounts deficit and all that. People already knew that.
I can do that every day through my writings on my blog. I was pleased to have strangers coming before me last night saying they read my blog. I want to thank them and please continue reading. I will do my part to raise the bar of awareness and political sensibility.
As to Anwar- I am taking a hard-nosed approach here. We don’t have to agree to all of what he says or even to some of what he says- but we have come to reassure him, that what he represents will continue to be cultivated and kept alive. That the struggle against all form of political repression and political evil and the evil that BN does, will be fought to the last.
We want to reassure him that what he articulates and represents is a national imperative and our manifest destiny even. That we have the responsibility to resist and fight political evil by BN and replace it with new inclusive politics.
It’s already written in the stars what will happen to Anwar. This matter concerning Anwar- I hope will be decided on the points of law. If Anwar says his lawyers say that on the principles of law, he will be free man, then he will be. If the decision is muddied with non-judicial considerations, then Anwar will be goaled.
So, why do we come to celebrate Anwar each time he and Pakatan Rakyat organised rallies? It must be beyond humouring ourselves listening to something that we more or less already know and to laugh it out at references to Najib now being Bapa Golf Malaysia.
That’s quite hilarious- from Bapa Pembangunan to Bapa Golf. That shows how much Najib respect the people. When criticised about his golf diplomacy, he ups the ante by providing money for everyone to play golf. Good for the country.
We come to participate in Anwar’s gatherings either as listeners or part of the team of speakers- because ALL of us want to remind Anwar and ourselves, that the fight against political evil and against threats to our person, to what we hold dear, to the community, to the country must be fought over and over again. No let ups.
So we come to Anwar’s gatherings to remind him, that what he represents better than anyone else at the moment- relentless fight against repression, against injustice, against all forms of political evil, will be continued.
We are not asking to use extrajudicial means to punish or exonerate Anwar. That’s written in the stars.
In the end, it’s a personal judgment call. We may cleverly justify it on all the legal arguments in the world and all the other reasons in the world. Saiful says he wants justice and Anwar says he wants justice. Justice to Saiful is for an individual, injustice for Anwar is injustice to many.
I hope it will not come to never in history has justice done to an individual is felt by so few while injustice done to one person, is felt by so many.- Mohd.Ariff Sabri bin Hj. Abdul Aziz@sakmonglol ak47