As expected Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor have refused to be interviewed for the sodomy trial of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. Although government prosecutors say the first couple will oblige if they are subpoenaed, few Malaysians believe that given the current weakened state of the judiciary, no judge would dare make such an order.
Even Anwar complained on his Twitter, why should the first couple deserve special treatment when they were part of a witness list provided by the prosecution itself. Two others are following in their wake are former Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan and former Malacca police chief Mohd Rodhwan.
“These are the protected ones. It enforces the perception of a conspiracy at the very highest levels and now that they have been pressed to the corner, they dare not face questioning in court, otherwise why refuse?” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle. He does not expect the court to command any of the four to testify.
Meanwhile, trial judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah has set August 8 to decide on the witness list.
How can the court refuse to subpoena Najib
Anwar has accused Najib and Rosmah of plotting the sodomy conspiracy against him. The police chiefs are the key officers who played their parts in getting Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a former staff in Anwar’s office, to lodge a police a sodomy complaint against him.
Very glaringly and one reason why the judge should not refuse to issue a subpoeona order is that Najib himself had met Saiful just before lodging the police complaint and very suspiciously, Najib had denied ever knowing Saiful – as he has done over a other case, the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.
However, when photos emerged , the PM had no choice but to U-turn. “He wants to shirk his responsibility. Imagine the signals he is sending out when he is already involved in so many scandals,” said Tian
He was referring to the Altantuya case, where Najib’s bodyguards – Azilah Hadri and Sirul Umar – were sentenced to hang for killing her even though they had just met her and no motive .
Despite statements that linked Najib to the case, the court had steadfastly diverted and stopped all questioning that related to Najib. It sparked a comment of concern by the US embassy here about the “questionable justice” being meted out, based on a recently leaked US cable.
Same “NO” to Parisian courts
Najib is also involved in the Scorpene submarines corruption case, in which Altantuya is tied in to. An investigation is now in the final phase and open court hearings due to begin in September. As Defense minister who sanctioned the deal with French vendor DCN, Najib is bound to be called as a witness. However, judging by his response to the sodomy case, he is expected to chicken out of the Scorpenes hearing too.KL Hig
On Wednesday, the KL High Court was told they have refused to co-operate. Interviews are usually conducted to determine whether a witness will be called to testify in a trial.
“They have refused to come to court, to be interviewed by the defence unless they were served with a subpoena,” Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden told the court.
The poor response of the first couple will only add to the image that they are involved in the sodomy II case. Just as when Najib deported French lawyer William Bourdon, who came to give briefing on the Scorpenes case, he was immediately perceived to be guilty.
“A very irresponsible first coupe. Instead of extending the greatest co-operation, they are extending the greatest obstacles. In the sodomy case, Anwar can go to jail for 20 years if found guilty. And yet, they can turn down – why if they are not guilty? In the Scorpenes case, it involves RM7.3 billion of Malaysian taxpayers money and Najib was the one who sanctioned the deal. How can Najib say no, how can they have so little social conscience,” said Tian.
- Malaysia Chronicle