While the Benchers of the Inns of Court rightly concern themselves with monitoring the professional conduct of barristers appearing before the British Courts they also have a responsibility to review the professional conduct of those of their members who, having been called in London, return to their countries of origin there to practice law.
One of such countries, Malaysia, currently has an Attorney General who appears to be an outstanding disgrace to the profession. Having been, for reasons only known to and approved by those politicians who appointed him, a senior Judge in his home country. And having there acquired the reputation of one who finds what he is told to find, he was the ideal choice for the criminal establishment going under the name of the Government of Malaysia when they needed an Attorney General in a hurry.
Why? Because they had unconstitutionally dismissed the then holder of that office for the grievous sin of having approved an application for a warrant of arrest for the Prime Minister on charges of criminal fraud. And not merely dismissed but blocked physically from entering his chambers when arriving for work on the morning after his, un-notified sacking.
If the process of the criminal law against a criminal Prime Minister was to be blocked the only road open was to have the Attorney General, also ex officio Public Prosecutor, stay all such proceedings. Which, of course, Apandi was happy to do. That’s why he was there and would remain to so act if needed in future. And he would be, as criminals rarely stop their criminal activities until jailed.
As an additional step the counsel in the AG’s chambers who had actually drafted the application for the arrest warrant was shortly afterwards murdered and his corpse dumped in a barrel of cement. This crime remains “unsolved”
At that point the mega criminal Najib may have thought that he had stopped any criminal proceedings against himself and his accomplices (who included the chief of the national Police) but he reckoned without the witless Apandi. Not long after his “appointment” this terminally stupid “lawyer” called a Press conference with the object of publicly “clearing” the Prime Minister of all alleged crimes.
Full of self-importance, he announced that Najib was innocent of all crimes. While doing so, and perhaps for greater emphasis, he waved in the air printed documents, possibly unaware that photography was invented quite some time ago. The photographs duly taken showed, beyond all possibility of doubt, that Najib was guilty of a further series of thefts of public money which had not, at that point, emerged!
Perhaps because no other local lawyer could be found willing to take on the Attorney General’s job Apandi survived this farcical incident and remains in post. In fact he is all that stands between the criminal Najib Razak and criminal prosecution for theft on a mega scale. Which may explain why “better the fool I know” is allowed to continue to bring justice and the Malaysian legal profession into total contempt and disrepute.
Doubtless the passage of time will see Apandi where he belongs. In prison. But in the meantime why do the Benchers of his parent Inn not act to disbar him and eject him from their company? If it is because, in their rarefied atmosphere, they remain unaware of his conduct: now they know.