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Gani must come forward to give
proper explanation to end the thousand-and-one questions swirling around the
last-minute change of prosecution team in the Altantunya Shaariibuu murder
trial or Malaysia’s system of justice will be the greatest casualty
(Parliament, Wednesday) : The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail must come forward to give proper explanation to end the thousand-and-one questions swirling around the last-minute change of prosecution team in the high-profile Mongolian Altantunya Shaariibuu murder trial or Malaysia’s system of justice is in for another chapter of adverse publicity both nationally and internationally, ending up as the greatest casualty.
Gani should know that his explanation that the last-minute switch of prosecution was to enable “a fair trial” raises more questions than giving an answer.
It explains not only nothing, but implies that continuing with the original prosecution team of DPPs Salehuddin Saidin and Noorin Badaruddin could be against the interests of ensuring “a fair trial” and if so, clearly the Attorney-General must explain why, since it casts a serious reflection on the professionalism and integrity of Salehuddin and Noorin.
Furthermore, why if there has to be a switch of the prosecution team for whatever reasons, the change was not made earlier as the charges of murder against the three accused were first made in November 15 last year while the trial dates for 25 days starting on Monday was fixed by the Shah Alam High Court as far back as March 9, 2007.
Gani should explain whether the last-minute switch of the prosecution team was to strengthen the chances of securing convictions in the Altantunya Shaariibuu trial and if so, how.
Why was the whole prosecution team switched, instead of directing DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah to lead the prosecution team but still comprising Salehuddin and Noorin since they had been involved in the preparation of the trial right from the beginning?
Gani should be aware of the political implications of and the world-wide interests in the trial and should be wary of taking any steps which can only giving wing to speculation of political interference in the conduct of the trial.
The Attorney-General cannot continue to keep silent as the reputation and international standing of the Malaysian system of justice, which is trying, not too successfully, to regain national and international confidence after two decades of relentless assault and erosion by the Executive, will otherwise be the greatest casualty.