Feudal or not, but this is certainly a nation where some people in authority suffer from amnesia at their convenience.
Responding to calls that in the light of the confession by the senior lawyer who prepared the second SD for PI Bala, and which was exposed at the recent AGM of the Bar Council, the Altantuya case should be reopened, the IGP said he would not re-open the case unless “new evidence” was produced.
If the confession is not new evidence, what is it? If the confession is true, then it would surely affect the verdict passed at the trial and surely that justifies a review of the case. Is it “pantang” to review a criminal case where two lives are waiting to be snuffed out?
Doesn’t criminal justice require that no stone should be left unturned in discovering the truth before sentence is passed, the more so when it involves the death penalty? Isn’t it a requirement that evidence must show beyond doubt the guilt of the accused? Isn’t it the foundation of criminal justice that if a reasonable doubt is cast on the guilt of the accused, the benefit of the doubt must be given to the accused?
The IGP seems to have forgotten about a murder that took place in the Petaling Jaya area in 1979, when he was a 26 year old police officer in the Criminal Investigation Department of the IPD Krian. This murder case was very sensational as no direct evidence was found and the accused was convicted on the strength of circumstantial evidence. It was a trial by jury and the accused was sentenced to death.
However, a few days after the sentencing, a witness who had given evidence at the trial, and which had carried weight with the jury, came forward and confessed that he had given false evidence.
That confession was new evidence. The case was re-opened. The accused who had been sentenced to death was freed and the person who had given the false evidence was imprisoned instead. This was the case of the murder of Jean Perera Sinnappa. And this is not the only such case in the world. From time to time we read of cases where miscarriage of justice had been discovered, sometimes decades later, and the condemned freed.
Now two of the IGP’s own officers are waiting in death row. New evidence has surfaced in the form of the confession, but he is not interested in seeing to it that justice is done to these two officers. He would rather see his officers dead, based on a judgment where the court said motive was not relevant in this case!
These officers have families and children (as was said of the Sabah intruders). Have their wives and children no right to expect our justice system to leave no stone unturned to get to the truth of the matter? Why? Is it because some big names are mentioned?
In convicting them, the court had come up with a novelty of an argument that MOTIVE was irrelevant. Where in the annals of criminal justice is motive irrelevant when someone is accused of having killed a person(s)?
The guilt or otherwise depends on the accused’s Mens Rea, i.e state of mind. Was the killing the result of the killer’s own mind’s intention to kill?
In the case of the two of the IGP’s police officers’ who are waiting to be hanged, what reason did they have to have intended to kill the lady whom they do not seem to have known. Does the IGP have a clear conscience over this?
It’s a wonder how the IGP could be so disinterested in establishing why the two of his officers had done what they did. And since the C4 explosives are not part of the police arsenal but that of the armed forces, how did they come into possession of that substance? Is his stand good for the morale of the lower ranking police officers? What is he trying to prove – that a decision made, right or wrong, must stand and be executed like in the days of the Feudal Lords?
Based on our very own precedent case of Jean Perera Sinnappa, the Altantuya case must be re-opened in the name of justice for the two police officers waiting to be hanged. I am sure that Islamic Moral values or those of any other culture do not condone the closing of an eye to any evidence that might go to show that the condemned were not guilty of what they were accused of.
[Source: The MI]