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Has Justice Mohd Zaki violated
Judges’ Code of Ethics in playing badminton and socializing with prosecutors
and if so, could sanctions be imposed under Article 125 (3B) amended last
(Parliament, Sunday): The admission by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail that it was a mistake when he decided not to give the court a reason for replacing the entire prosecution team in the Altantunya Shaariibuu murder trial has raised further questions.
Gani said he had replaced the entire team of prosecutors to ensure a “fair trial” to all parties concerned. He said he had taken Deputy Public Prosecutor Salehuddin Saidin out because he was seen playing “badminton” with trial judge Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin.
He was going to replace Salehuddin with the Chamber’s head of prosecution Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, but later realized that the latter socialized with the judge as well.
Two immediate questions are:
(1) How many of the DPPs in the AG’s Chambers now play badminton or socialize with judges? Is Gani Patail going to issue a Code of Conduct for his prosecutors and officers forbidding them from playing badminton or socializing with judges?
(2) Why didn’t Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin recuse himself from the trial for having socialized with the prosecution? Does the Judges’ Code of Ethics forbid judges from playing badminton or socializing with prosecutors?
If so, can disciplinary action be taken against Justice Mohd Zaki under Article 125(3B) which was amended last year to provide for sanctions to be imposed on judges for breaching provisions of the Code of Ethics?
Or do we have two Codes at variance with each other, one governing judges allowing them to socialize with prosecutors while the code governing prosecutors forbid them to socialize with judges?
Article 125 (3B) and (3C) of the Federal Constitution reads:
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman