Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Turning Justice On Its Head


Once again Malaysian Courts have succumbed to pressure to overturn acquittals. A lady who screened a film at a private venue for which she was prosecuted, or better persecuted, and who was acquitted of an offence against the film censorship legislation by the appropriate Court now finds that verdict overturned by a Malaysian High Court judge who ordered a re-trial!

Until not long ago all democracies respected the finality of an acquittal. The United Kingdom, have legislated to allow a second trial of an acquitted accused. BUT only in special circumstances closely defined in law, when new evidence has been obtained.

Not Malaysia where any court can and does overturn verdicts simply because the latter do not please the government of the day. So much for the impartiality of justice in gangster Najib’s Malaysia! Whether or not the judge in the instant case thought that there had been a flaw or flaws in the prosecution case he should have known better than to overturn the verdict.

Acquittals may result where there is no or insufficient evidence to convict or where the lower Court finds the prosecution case unproven; for whatever reason. If the Court or the prosecution committed errors leading to an acquittal they should know better next time rather than seeking to correct their deficiencies in an appeal Court. And the latter has a duty to point out where the prosecution failed so that such errors are avoided in future.

But to overturn an acquittal simply because the prosecution have made a mess of their case is not just stupid and dishonest but also calls into question the fairness of the judicial system. The latter quality, of course, no longer exists in the Malaysian higher courts as numerous cases have demonstrated. When the present gangster regime is sent were it belongs, Prison, urgent reform of the Courts and the judicial corpus should be a priority objective.

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