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Friday, July 30, 2010

Lawyers debate DPP's alleged affair with Saiful

Some lawyers hold the view the Attorney-General's Chambers' reputation had been badly tarnished by the allegation that one of its prosecutors had been involved in a romantic affair with star witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

However, others feel that the damage is minor as the DPP's role in the case was limited to just taking down notes during the trial.

Lawyer Baljit Singh Sidhu, when met, said the alleged affair will certainly have serious repercussion for the AG's Chambers.

"This allegation is serious and it does not look good for the prosecution. It leads to the issue of the prosecution team's integrity. People view the case as being politically trumped-up.

"If the allegation is true, it shows the DPP was acting unethically and unprofessionally in having an affair with the complainant," he said, adding that he did not want to be judgmental on this issue.

NONEBaljit, who is also a lecturer, said DPP Farah Azlina Latif's role being minor was not the issue.

"The fact remains that she is part of the prosecution's team and this should not have happened," he added.

Baljit, (right) however, commended the swift action taken by attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail to remove her from Anwar's prosecution team as something proper to dispel negative perceptions.

Another senior lawyer who wanted to remain anonymous when asked laughed, saying this can only happen in Malaysia.

Prosecution's image tainted

Another senior lawyer who requested anonymity said where the bigger picture was concerned people would question the ethics and conduct of the prosecution, especially with the involvement of a DPP, if the allegations proved to be true.

"She should have known better than engaging in a relationship with the complainant and star witness as she is also a lawyer. But people sometimes do not look at this bigger picture," he said.

He added on the other hand, if her role is limited to taking notes, than it should not affect the prosecution team that much.

As long as, he said, she was not involved in the prosecution or handling exhibits it would be all right.

However, he noted that for a lawyer to have a relationship with a witness is not ethical.

NONEDavid Matthews (left) said it was improper and will cast a doubt on the transparency of the prosecution team as this is a politically charged case.

"Most importantly, the public expects a very high level of ethics and prosecutarial conduct. Anything wrong done will certainly taint the prosecution's image," the young laywer said.

Following her alleged affair, it is learnt that Farah has been laterallytransferred from the Commercial Crime unit of the Prosecution Division to the Law Revision and Reform Division.

She has been in the spotlight following allegations made by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin about her affair with Saiful.

On Wednesday, it was also reported that before the matter became public, she had cancelled her wedding plans to her fiance about a week before the scheduled date.

No postponement, trial resumes on Monday

In a related development, High Court judge Justice Mohammad Zabidin Mohd Diah had rejected a defence team application to defer Monday's trial following the Court of Appeal setting a hearing date for their appeal to get the doctors' notes of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital's three physicians who had examined Saiful.

anwar ibrahim sodomy allegation saiful bukhari azlan first day in court 070808 sankara nairJustice Zabidin despatched the rejection letter to Anwar's solicitor Sankara Nair yesterday.

On another note, Sankara (right) said he has asked lead prosecutor solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden to either confirm or deny the so-called "affair" between Farah and Saiful.

"As such we have sent a reminder to him yesterday, and this time by adding that if we do not get his reply by (4pm) today July 30, 2010.

"We shall then proceed to assume that the allegations are deemed to be true," he said in a statement.

1 comment:

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