'Ex-judge for Anwar violated Bar Council call' - Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

'Ex-judge for Anwar violated Bar Council call'

Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang has questioned why a former federal court judge is representing Anwar Ibrahim in the opposition leader's sodomy appeal, saying this went against a Bar Council resolution.

He was referring to former Federal Court Judge Gopal Sri Ram who yesterday made submissions at the apex court in Anwar's defence.

This, added Tan, was despite the Bar Council passing a resolution on March 15 this year, calling for the prohibition of retired judges to appear in court as counsels, as the sitting judges hearing the case would be his or her former colleagues and juniors.

"According to the Malaysian Bar, such conduct may also have the effect of intimidating the bench and worse, it could give the perception that the said retired judge or counsel and his client have an advantage over other counsel and adverse parties," explained Tan in a statement today.

Tan in the words of the Bar Council when it pushed for the resolution's passing, this could adversely affect public perception on the administration of justice.

"Gerakan Youth urges the Malaysian Bar to clarify whether there was any special exception granted to the Pakatan de facto leader to be represented by an ex-Federal Court judge," he said.

'Tradition not abided'

The Bar Council in its resolution had said that it is a principle of antiquity in common law that retired judges of superior courts should not appear as counsel and this had been observed for decades.

However, it noted that this principle was not abided in recent years and a group of six retired judges had written to the Bar Council to express concern.

"In the context, retired judges of the superior court having failed to honour tradition and convention by appearing as counsel, they must now be prohibited or restricted by law from continuing with such unacceptable conduct," it said.

Anwar was on March 7, sentenced to five years in jail for allegedly sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

His final appeal against the sentence began yesterday at the Federal Court and the hearing is slated for two days.

Anwar, who is free on bail, maintains the charge against him is politically motivated.

Source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/278887





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