PUTRAJAYA, June 6 (Bernama) Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said today he had to change the prosecution team in the murder trial of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu in the interest of justice because Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Salehuddin Saidin who was leading the prosecution team had been seen playing badminton with trial judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin. (photo from bernama)

After laughing my head off (for several days, that is), I spoke to lawyer R Sivarasa (photo by politico-blogger elizabeth wong)recently, to ask him about the implications of this new development, which caused, not only an embarassment, but a total injustice for all concerned, especially the court, accused, the family of the murdered woman, the witnesses, and the counsels, including the trial judge, who had to execute the postponement.

According to Sivarasa, we have not asked the most important question, that is, why is the head of the judiciary’s civil division prosecuting this high profile murser case?

The head of the newly appointed prosecution team Tun Majid Tun Hamzah is the head of the civil division.

Why has the criminal division and all the experienced DPPs in it been totally marginalised? querried Sivarasa. “I have never seen a precedent like this“. He went further to add that the AG himself could prosecute the case, but chose not to. “Does this mean that the AG’s chamber is in conflict?”

What really happenned to the criminal division of the AG’s chamber? Indeed, that is the question one must ask.

Also read Sivarasa’s take on “WHAT IS SUB-JUDICE?”.

I asked him to explain in plain and simple words for lay persons, like us, to understand. I asked since this has been the excuse by some quarters not to talk or question the discrepancies in this trial of the century. Worst still, it is being used by politicians, and their side-kicks, many in the media fraternity, even certain bloggers, to deny others the right to question what is deemed unfair:

Me: What is sub-judice? 

Sivarasa: The law on sub-judice is based on UK’s common law and has its origins in criminal trials where there is a jury. To prevent the jury from being influenced by public opinion. For example, in some civil cases, the law of sub-judice also applies where the court has asked for publications to be witheld”.

What about a court where there is no jury, like Malaysia?

If a judge is (able to be) influenced by public opinion, he is unfit. A judge is a trained lawyer, no matter what he reads or hears or feels, he should be able to walk into a court room, put on his robe and read the facts of the case and judge accordingly. However, if a judge (or his family) is threatened, then that is contempt of court.


There are cases in Malaysia where the judge invokes the law of sub-judice. In most colonised countries, this is done where judges exploit the law to protect themselves.

There you are, sub-judice in a nutshell, by a famous lawyer. Don’t listen to loyar-buruks (half-past six) in the blogosphere.


14 responses »

  1. monsterball says:

    Susan…After reading that..do you expect real court case will commence on the new date …or something sensational idiotic news to postpone it further?
    You poor souls came from far and near with no sponsors…how can you all take the suspense? I think Liz Wong is having alot of stress partly because of waiting. What about you?

  2. monsterball says:

    I recalled in oldern days …such important murder case was judged by a panel of juries……judge has no final say….but act as a guide to see jury understands things. Literally speaking….judge is like a tour guide…to see juries reach the right destination.
    I wonder why we gave up trial with juries nowadays….especially after the famous Anwar case…no jury.
    You mean the whole country are all half past six people….not qualified to be juries? I think think oF at least few dozens of all races that can be smart ….impartial juries….plus non political…all reputable business men and women. Why can’t the government apply this system?
    Then play badminton or not…the case could have gone forth?

  3. ghenjis khan says:

    according to Zulkifli Noordin, Chief Inspector of UTK was about to file an alibi to the siad charges, and I think this has gone through the Registrar of the Courts.

    it follows from this alibi, then, the victim may have been “killed” by party or parties other than then two accused;

    then, by inference, a Superior Officer, must have commanded other UTK personnel to do the job and that these two accused are being asked to dispose of the body using C4;

    therefore, can these two UTK personnel be accused of “disposing by C4″ a body already dead, killed at closed range;

    it follows from the above, that Superior Officer must have gotten the go ahead from somebody of a high political nature, rather than of an analytical nature;

    therefore, the first premise of the case being exposed to the public, that ” there were ONLY 2 UTK personnel involved and 1 other who abets and that NO OTHER Persons ” statement from the Police and AG Office must be uphold at all cost……

    and all these, despite the overwhleming evidence tha must have come to the knowledge of the Advocates and Solicitors of the High Court of Malaya trying to defend their clients and

    not forgetting the Advocate and Solicitor acting for the the family of the victim.

  4. oA says:


    Nobody should be naïve to be fooled by the “crook” himself that he is all concerned for a fair trial definitely not by mean of ways he is handling the situation now and not the reasons he was dispensing. Since when is he known to be fair and scrupulous – NEVER.

    Who is blind and stupid enough not to know the obvious and that he is trying to “sabotage” the case all for the defense – a clear case of political interference.

    Who is stupid enough not to know such idiots never fail to go berserk at the rally cries of “morons” toward unfounded threats to religion and race.

    Perhaps, the best way for him to clear of all his past misdeeds is for him to openly – if he has the guts – to disclose who is the “political power(s)” behind the scene.

    But then such person is known to be a bona fide coward.


  5. monsterball says:

    Did I read it right? Lawyer R. SIVIRASA said the criminal division lawyers of the Attorney General are not involved in the case?
    Did he put out compensation or divorce lawyers to talk murder case?
    Can someone enlighten me?

  6. yh says:

    Doesnt this spawn more conspiracy theorists? you just wonder what would be next.

  7. wits0 says:

    Next? Who knows. Maybe Pikachu* to the witness stand.

    * http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/77/Pikachu.png

  8. Peter says:

    Thanks for giving information which have always been deleted from Malaysia’s newspapers. I am very dissapointed with the Government. I thought our PM is a very clean and sincere gentleman, but i should admit that he is not as clean as i thought, at least when he denied the wedding few months ago and i believed him, i feel cheated.

  9. bamboo river says:

    Peter ,
    Don’t feel dissapointed to yourself. Feel proud that you like everyone of us has our stand. A stand for transparent and fair government.
    So , they lie, you was not cheated.
    Now we have the important court case coming.
    We hope for the best.

  10. […] Is the AG’s chamber in conflict? [image]PUTRAJAYA, June 6 (Bernama) – Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said today he had to change the […] […]

  11. blueocean says:

    The fact is this guy is the 2nd worst A-G in our history(after his predecessor).But there is going to be a lot more twists and turns to this case in court then people expect with this alibi thingy surfacing now.

  12. wits0 says:

    If the accused be found guilty and given heavy sentences, won’t they actually spill the real beans? They would’ve nothing to lose if they face a rope. The smile on Bag’s face is apparently easier to fathom than the one on Mona Lisa’s.

  13. monsterball says:

    Peter..what have Pak Lah lied to you that caused us Malaysian suffered so much? Who on earth have never told a lie?
    I do not trust any politcian…including Pak Lah….but day by day I try to find out who is doing good for the nations….especially from Pak Lah. So far…he is trying his best..much much more sincere than TDM….but his cabinet are still fill with full of shit ministers…..that if you say he is lying that he is happy with all of them…I fully agree with you…that he is same cunning and not sincere…so commonly found in UMNO circles of politicians and supporters.

  14. jeancumlately says:

    Monty: Peter..what have Pak Lah lied to you that caused us Malaysian suffered so much? Who on earth have never told a lie?

    I guess pak lah is a pious, straight, honest, incorruptible human being. In my kampong, he would be an “imam” or atleast a “tok siak.” He did nothing wrong because he did nothing. He don’t know anything about buying a yacht, a new jet, a house in perth, ecm-libra, the pantai debacle, kalimullah, temasek, banjir (whatever that means), and ….. For God’s sake, he don’t even know that he was going to marry jeanne until a few days before he wed a woman named jeanne.

    He happened to be our pm. That is the problem. I do agree that may be pak lah is doing his best but if that is his best, damn, I am really scrared…

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