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Public interest demands an independent commission of inquiry  into the botched murder trials in the past three years cause by sloppy police investigation and prosecution to restore public confidence in the system of justice

Media Statement (2) 
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Friday) : Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan has ordered an inquiry into the botched investigation of the murder of a 21-year-old in 2003 which led to the case being thrown out of court  on Wednesday. 

Judge Datuk V.T. Lingam of the Ipoh High Court  made very scathing comments on the prosecution’s “miserable” failure to establish a prima facie case against the five men charged with the killing of engineering student Mohd Hosni Fadzil Mohd Amin, and questioned the police’s sense of urgency and sloppy investigation as the delay resulted in material gaps in the prosecution’s case as crucial evidence may have been removed, destroyed or tampered with. 

Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee, who is to head the police inquiry, admitted to “weaknesses” in the case which he said were unacceptable. 

This is not the first case where the police and prosecution had been chastised by judges for sloppy investigation and prosecution, resulting  in high-profile criminal cases being  thrown out of court even before the accused is called to make his defence. 

There had been quite  a spate of such embarrassing cases recently, most notably: 

  • Fu Xian Juang murder trial in September 2005, where the three accused were acquitted without defence being called.  High Court judge Datuk Abdul Musa said there were clear unresolved doubts and unanswered questions to the prosecution’s case.
  • Datuk Norjan Khan Bahadar murder trial in August 2004 where the accused was acquitted when High Court judge Datuk Ian Chin noted that there was little evidence to prove that the accused knew the victim.
  • Noritta Samsuddin murder trial in July 2004 where the Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mokhtar Sidin rapped police invesgators, noting “gaping holes” in the case against the accused. To establish a prima facie case, the prosecution had to prove that death had occurred, that the accused was responsible for Noritta’s death and that the act was done with the intention of causing her death. The Court of Appeal said the only fact proven was that Noritta was dead.
  • Lee Kin Chong murder trial in October 2003, where Ipoh High Court judge Datuk V.T. Singham acquitted the two accused, chastising police for conducting shoddy identification parades.
  • Lee Yew Chuan murder trial in July 2003 where Penang High Court judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah acquitted the two accused, lambasting a medical officer and the investigating officer for their “lackadaisical attitude” and “shoddy job”.

Malaysians still remember that after the highly embarrassing case of the  Fu Xian Juang murder trial being thrown out of court without defence being called, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail announced that there would be a slew of drastic proposals  to ensure that when the prosecution team steps into the courtroom, they are better prepared.  Clearly these slew of drastic proposals to end sloppy prosecution had not worked. 

Public confidence in the professionalism and integrity of the police and the prosecution in high-profile criminal cases have been greatly shaken by the bungling of the  Mohd Hosni Fadzil murder trial. 

An independent commission should be establish to conduct a full investigation both into the sloppy police investigation and prosecution of botched murder trials and  high-profile criminal  cases  in the past three years to restore public confidence in the system of justice in the country.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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