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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lawyers: MACC's reasons full of contradictions

The MAAC announced today it will not meet private investigator P Balasubramaniam in London and his lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu's response is that the MACC's reasons to cancel the interview do not qualify as reasons and are full of contradictions.

americk siva pc 040708 02Americk (left) reiterated that Balasubramaniam was also willing to testify in any court of law and it was wrong for the MACC to assume he would not turn up in court.

He also took a swipe at the prosecution's handling of the on-going Anwar Ibrahim sodomy II trial, saying if this were the case, such a statement recorded from star witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan would have been willingly tendered by the prosecution as part of their case instead of being hidden from view.

"There is no real excuse of not wanting to record a statement from Bala," Americk said.

"Whatever advice the MACC has received from the attorney-general's chambers is highly suspect and devoid of any legal basis.

"Instead it smacks of a hastily-assembled concoction of very weak excuses designed to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation for those who are obviously in control and who are able to hijack the machinations of the state and to manipulate the system to suit their own illegitimate agendas," he added.

In a related development, Malaysia Today blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin reiterates in his blog that the scheduled press conference on July 5 will go on.

Americk's statement in full.

Response to press by MACC regarding Bala interview in London

I refer to the press release by the MACC this afternoon to the effect that they will not be sending their officers to London to interview my client P.Balasubramaniam (Bala), as promised.

The excuses (they do not qualify as reasons), given are as follows:

1. That the MACC will instead submit questions to which my client will give his answers in affidavit form.

2. That the A.G's chambers had provided advice along these lines to the MACC.

3. That precedence has been established in the Eric Chia case to the effect that a witnesses statement recorded overseas is inadmissible in a Malaysian Court.

4. That even if an affidavit was sworn by Bala it would not hold much weight in court if he was not available to testify.

These statements appear to be full of contradictions, misguided assumptions and ill-devised excuses used to decline the invitation to interview Bala which has been so vehemently pursued by the MACC in the past.

The recording of a witnesses statement can take place anywhere in the world as this statement forms part of the investigations conducted by the MACC for the purposes of a potential prosecution and is not intended to be used as evidence in a Court of Law.

f this were the case, then the statement recorded from Saiful in the ongoing Sodomy II trial of Anwar Ibrahim would have been willingly tendered by the prosecution as part of their case instead of being guarded jealously and hidden from view.

So this is really no excuse for not recording a statement from Bala.

It would never be tendered in court unless it is used to discredit the oral evidence of a witness if that evidence contradicts a previously recorded statement. This process is called impeachment. That is why a statement is first recorded.

The MACC have assumed that Bala will not turn up in court to testify.

Why have they assumed this?

Bala is ever prepared to testify against those personalities who have caused him and his family untold misery for the past two years. Was it not Bala who surfaced to tell his story as soon as he was able?

Has he ever shirked from his duty as a law abiding citizen to assist the authorities in whatever way he could without compromising his own safety?

All Bala asks is that the authorities concerned ensure that his well being is preserved if he is required to testify. Nothing more nothing less.

Bala could quite easily have gone into forced exile with RM5 million in his pocket and his life would have been a lot easier.

Instead he has come forward to expose the misdeeds perpetrated upon him by a host of unsavoury characters who stretch all the way to the personalities holding the highest positions in government and their immediate family members.

If the MACC requires signed depositions from Bala to wrap up their investigations, may I suggest they consult the documents available all over cyberspace in the form of Bala's 1st SD released in July 2008 and the three parts of his Q&A released in November 2009.

These documents exhaustively detail all issues involved in this conspiracy and have been available for a long time now.

If this is all the MACC required, why suggest that their investigations could not proceed without the cooperation of Bala? Why did Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz inform Parliament that the MACC were emasculated in continuing with their investigations because Bala could not be found?

Bala was available at all times and the MACC knew this. We have documents to prove we had informed them of our willingness to cooperate as far back as December last year.

Why is everyone becoming so coy at the eleventh hour?

It is nothing less than astounding to now realise that an authority such as the MACC, who would have been expected to have done everything in their power to investigate the very serious allegations made against the prime minister, his wife and his brother, to now forfeit that opportunity on tenuous and exasperatingly flimsy grounds knowing full well that much preparation has gone into organizing this interview and to then pull out at the very last moment contrary to the false perceptions created by them up till now.

This turn of events has certainly destroyed what little credibility the MACC had left and has confirmed the suspicions held by most right-thinking members of society that they are a body existing solely to protect the interests of the powers that be and to ensure that any opposition to the government is dealt with by harsh, brash, unnecessary and lopsided vehemence with the sole purpose of destroying any legitimate questioning of the excesses of the ruling regime so that power is perpetuated in the hands of their masters.

As far as I am concerned, and I know I speak for the team of lawyers representing Bala in this matter, that we will all be in London at the Holiday Villas, Bayswater at 10 am on the 5th July awaiting the arrival of the three MACC officers who are supposed to interview Bala as arranged and as promised.

Let me add that whatever advice the MACC may have received from the attorney-general's chambers is highly suspect and devoid of any legal basis, but instead smacks of a hastily assembled concoction of very weak excuses designed to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation for those who are obviously in control and who are able to hijack the machinations of the state and to manipulate the system to suit their own illegitimate agendas.

And if there are still any reservations as to whether the MACC were indeed genuinely planning on interviewing Bala in London then that misconception has now been destroyed by the fact that they had, up till now, not bothered to book the conference room at the Holiday Villas, Bayswater even though they had assured us they would handle the booking.

They had never intended to interview Bala and have spent the past few weeks scrambling around for an excuse not to. The only problem is the excuse is ludicrous and everyone knows that.

Americk Sidhu

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