Human Rights Watch: AG should not appeal

K Pragalath | January 21, 2012

The Human Rights Watch says the decision to appeal would allow government to interfere in the judiciary.

PETALING JAYA: US based NGO, Human Rights Watch criticised the Attorney General’s (AG) Chambers for filing an appeal in Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial.

HRW’s Asia division deputy director, Phil Robertson, in a statement, said that the end of the trial allowed a way out for the government to bow out gracefully.

“The trial court gave the government a chance to bow out gracefully from Anwar’s politically motivated prosecution. It’s very unfortunate that they didn’t take it.”

The criticism following the AG’s Chambers move to file an appeal yesterday evening.

Anwar was acquitted from the charges of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, on January 9.

High Court judge, Mohamad Zabidin Diah released Anwar due to unreliable DNA evidence.

Earlier yesterday, Saiful revealed via his blog that he has been pleading to the AG’s Chambers to appeal the decision and sent a letter through his lawyers, Tetuan Zamri Idrus & Co.

“I have been forced to send this letter because to this day there has been no response towards my father’s and my open application whether you (the AG) would file an appeal or not.

“Time is running out. This appeal is important (to me) because it involves my reputation and future,” he said.

Robertson further added that the decision to appeal would allow government to interfere in the judiciary.

“This decision (to appeal) means the citizens of Malaysia will be further subjected to the more political machinations in the courtroom as the government perpetuates this travesty of a trial for a crime that should not be a crime in the first place,” said Robertson.

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