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Date: 18 Nov 1999
Aliran Media Statement Postponement of Anwar's Trial Absolutely Unjustified
The indefinite postponement of the ongoing Anwar trial without giving any reason is totally unjustified.
If anything, it only perpetuates the public perception that the Judiciary is colluding with the Barisan Nasional in preventing Anwar from exposing instances of corruption and abuse of power during his trial.
The embarrassing details and various disclosures of questionable conduct of Ministers must be hurting the Barisan Nasional during the period of electioneering and the postponement of the Anwar trial is bound to be seen as an attempt at damage control.
Whatever may be the scheme of things, delaying the Anwar trial amounts to a terrible travesty of justice. This injustice is all the more cruel because the court had denied him bail even though it is a bailable offence.
If Anwar had been released on bail, nobody would have questioned the motive for postponing the trial. No aspersions would have been cast. It would not have been seen as an affront to our notion of justice.
By postponing the trial without giving any reasons, the Judiciary is seen as behaving just like the BN, which is often not accountable for its actions.
Neither the Judiciary nor the Executive can arrogate to itself the absolute right not to be accountable for its actions. Such unaccountability is nothing but sheer arrogance.
P Ramakrishnan President 18 November 1999