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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WITNESS PROTECTION ACT – A VIEW


Perak’s PPP Deputy Chairman and criminal lawyer Dr. Naran Singh has said that the trio involved in the screening of a sex video that alleges Anwar Ibrahim’s involvement should be protected under the Witness Protection Act (WPA). The Act stipulates that ‘any witness who comes forward to reveal privy information on acts of wrong doing should be given rightful protection’.

I am no lawyer but my interpretation and understanding of the Act may differ from that of Dr. Naran in this particular case. I would agree with Dr. Naran if the trio calling themselves Datuk ‘T’ did not deliberately call for the newsmen (I do not know how many of them) to Carcosa for a public viewing of the video. Had the trio maintained absolute privacy of the video, and went directly to the police, then I think WPA applies. But by having to screen the video to the newsmen and subsequently publishing it the following day makes it public information, and is no longer privy information.

My perception of the case is simply that the trio wanted to cast aspersion on Anwar character and for the press to believe that the person in the video was indeed Anwar. The motive is ill intended. If one is to listen to the press statement given by YB Johari Abdul who was invited by the trio to see the video, than one would have a different perception of the case. Regardless whether if it was Anwar or not in the act, but a good Muslim would never ever want to do what the trio had done. It is outright slander, and the trio being Muslims would know what it takes to slander someone. What if the investigation concludes that it wasn’t Anwar the porn actor?

Some would say that I am only trying to defend Anwar. It is far from that. The issue in question here is one of slander, and it has nothing to do with whether it was Anwar or otherwise. I am only defending the right of an individual against an act of slander, and clearly the act of the trio is definitely one of slander. And what makes this issue even worse is that the persons involved in the screening of the video are persons of influence and dignity. I do not know whether my readers will agree with me on this.

My only humble response to Dr. Naran is that I beg to differ from his views and opinion of the case. I would stick by my decision that the trio does not deserve to be protected under the WPA, but is to be investigated for being in possession of a pornographic video and for screening it in public.

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