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Justice must not lose out to technicalities

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The Shah Alam High Court’s decision disallowing Karpal Singh’s application to call Deputy Prime Minister as witness and to recall private investigator P Balasubramaniam to the stand in the on-going Altantuya Sharibuu murder trial comes as a great shock to all those praying for justice to prevail.

The court ruled that Karpal Singh did not have the locus standi to make this application since he was not a party to the trial as he was only holding a watching brief for the family of the murdered Mongolian woman. Surely Karpal could be treated as a friend of the court and be allowed to make this application in the interest of justice.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s name for whatever reason keeps cropping up now and then in relation to this case and this would have provided him with a golden opportunity to vindicate himself and lay to rest whatever suspicion that may be lurking around.

The private investigator P Balasubramaniam had contradicted himself under oath raising serious questions as to his credibility as a witness in this case. He has to be recalled to ascertain the veracity of his statement as a witness.

When these two crucial issues are hanging in the air begging for an answer, how can the court slam the door on this matter?

Karpal was right in expressing surprise as to why the head of the Civil Division in the Attorney-General’s Chambers Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah did not support his application. Even the defence counsel, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, seemed bemused that the prosecution was not supporting it “for whatever reasons best known to the prosecution”.

Most Malaysians will fail to understand why a court is so religiously subservient to technicalities and not driven by the moral compulsion to stand on the side of justice. Justice should prevail at all times and it must not be derailed by technicalities. It would be a terrible injustice if justice is sacrificed on technical grounds.


P Ramakrishnan


23 July 2008

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