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Thursday, May 31, 2018

LFL moots commission to review suspected "miscarriage of justice" cases


Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) has called for the formation of a commission to review all suspected cases of "miscarriage of justice".
This is in light of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's royal pardon on May 16, which was on the grounds of "miscarriage of justice".
"The royal pardon announced on May 16, in the immediate aftermath of the general election, amounts to a recognition that there was a miscarriage of justice in the conviction and jailing of Anwar.
"This raises the disturbing question as to how many other innocent persons are languishing in jail due to miscarriages of justice," LFL advisor N Surendran said in a statement today.
In Anwar's case, his plight received widespread coverage as he is a high-profile politician, he said.
"But ordinary convicts, who have been wrongfully convicted and jailed, have to suffer in silence.
"Unlike Anwar, they simply do not have the resources or battery of lawyers to re-open their case or even keep their case in the public eye," Surendran, who is Anwar's lawyer, said.
This is why a permanent commision should be established to look into suspected cases of miscarriage of justice which has resulted in the jailing of innocent persons, he said.
"Otherwise it is next to impossible to revisit the cases of unjustly jailed persons who have exhausted all their judicial appeals," he said.
He also pointed out that other Commonwealth countries have established mechanisms to review suspected miscarriages of justice.
The UK, for example, has the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) which is a statutory body set up in 1995 to look into suspected cases of miscarriage of justice, he noted.
"The government must learn the lessons of the notorious Anwar sodomy cases which brought shame to the country and disrepute to the judiciary.
"It is a great evil to leave an innocent man suffering in prison, with no possible remedy," he said. - Mkini

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