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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Ramkarpal praises AG for staying out of sexual assault case against Anwar

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh (left) says Attorney-General Tommy Thomas did the right thing by recusing himself from the case.
GEORGE TOWN: Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh today praised Attorney-General Tommy Thomas for not being part of a case involving an allegation of sexual assault against PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
Ramkarpal, who is Anwar’s lawyer, said it was good that the AG’s Chambers cleared the air as there had been various allegations that Thomas might be biased due to his prior sympathy for Anwar due to his incarceration.
“This maintains transparency of the Chambers as there will be no doubt be allegations of bias. It is also good that Thomas recuses himself in matters that could constitute a clash of interest.
“We also welcome the Chambers’ decision not to prosecute Anwar and respect the decision of the Solicitor-General. We are confident that the investigations were carried out professionally,” the Bukit Gelugor MP told FMT.
Earlier, Solicitor-General Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek said Thomas had recused himself from the case “right from the outset”.
“This is consistent with the statement in the joint press release dated Aug 2 2018 by me and the then-solicitor general II in relation to the role of the attorney-general on matters in which he may be previously involved.
“Thus a team of deputy public prosecutors under my supervision were entrusted to evaluate the evidence and to make any decision thereon,” said Engku Nor Faizah.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers has decided there is no case against Anwar over the allegations of sexual assault lodged by his former research assistant Muhammed Yusoff Rawther.
Engku Nor Faizah said there were “contradictions of material facts”.
“We also found there is insufficient evidence to prosecute on the reports lodged based on the evidence available in the investigation papers,” she said.
Last week, Yusoff’s lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla warned that there would be conflict of interest if Thomas were to be part of any decision on the case.
Haniff had cited Thomas’ open support for Anwar in the past when the latter was charged with sodomy.
Yusoff had claimed that Anwar had attempted to sexually assault him at his house in 2018.
Anwar has categorically denied all such allegations. - FMT

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