Rosli Dahlan’s trial is rapidly turning into a joke. And the butt of the joke is none other than the MACC, Malaysia’s so-called Anti-Corruption Commission that is proving more corrupted that the people they are pursuing.
And the MACC’s ‘Star Witness’, Kevin Morais, has got his knickers all twisted into knots due to his imaginary cheque butts and contradicting testimony. Has this maybe anything to do with his fetish for butts and the adjournment the court gave over the Christmas-New Year holidays so that Kevin could make a quick trip to London to meet his boyfriend?
Why do Malaysian courts always get lumbered with ‘Star Witnesses’ and sodomy allegations? Was it not a decade ago that another ‘Star Witness’ perjured himself by testifying that he was sodomised by the then Deputy Prime Minister in an apartment that did not exist and then did a 180% U-turn and testified three times under oath that Anwar Ibrahim never sodomised him after all?
Today, we are also seeing the same thing happen -- only that today it is not a sodomy trial but a so-called corruption trial that was not corruption but a case of not replying to a letter from the MACC when actually the letter did receive a reply and more than one at that too.
The MACC has painted itself into a corner on this one. Is this why both the DPPs from the MACC did not turn up in court today? Before they can even wangle themselves out of the Teo Beng Hock murder, they are now embroiled in a classic case of destroy at all cost those who challenge those who walk in the corridors of power. And, yet again, we are seeing the Unholy Trinity of the MACC, IGP and AG in action. In true Malaysian tradition it is what the Chinese would call ‘you scratch my back and I scratch yours’. Hmm…here we go again….back playing…..
It would be hard to imagine that the issue behind all this was to ensure that the IGP got to stay on beyond his retirement in August 2007. But the IGP can’t afford to retire just yet. First is because of the lucrative position he holds where he collects a cut of the profits from the prostitution, drugs, illegal gambling and loan sharking underground syndicate. Second, with all this shit we have on him, to retire would be suicidal.
But retire he must as no IGP before him was ever extended for more than a year or two beyond retirement -- unless of course there is no suitable successor. In the event there is no suitable successor then the Prime Minister is empowered to extend the contract of the IGP indefinitely.
So a plan was mooted to eliminate all suitable successors. And one such successor was the Director of the CCD, Ramli Yusuff.
A story was leaked that Ramli had failed to declare RM27 million in assets. He was not guilty of acquiring those assets. He was guilty of not informing the government that he has RM27 million in assets.
But there were two problems here. First was that he did not own RM27 million in assets. Second was that whatever he did own he had already declared, as required by law. And Ramli engaged the services of an old university mate cum lawyer, Rosli, to draft a reply with a complete set of accounts that go back to the day he joined the police force many decades ago.
In the meantime, the MACC had already leaked information to the mainstream media that a very senior police officer was under investigation for not declaring RM27 million in assets. The fact that a corruption investigation came under the Official Secrets Act and whomsoever leaks information on the investigation can be sent to jail did not matter to the MACC, which is allowed to literally get away with murder.
So what do they do now? The story they leaked to the media was that a senior police officer was under investigation for not declaring RM27 million in assets. But this lawyer too smart for his own good named Rosli came forward and proved that both are lies -- they were declared and it is not RM27 million.
They knew they needed to silence this Rosli as their case against Ramli was beginning to blow up in their face. So they sent Rosli a letter asking him to also declare his assets. Rosli replied to that letter to ask for more details and soon after that they came to his office and arrested him.
The story they spun is that Ramli was guilty of corruption and that Rosli was his accomplice. But Ramli was not charged for corruption. And Rosli was not charged for being an accomplice to corruption. The charges that Ramli and Rosli faced were totally different charges.
This reminds me of my own case where the police brought me in for lying and then charged me for telling the truth. Then they say I should go to court to prove my innocence because they are not able to prove my guilt. Is Law really that complicating that it is so difficult to understand the rudiments of the issue? It should be innocent until proven guilty and the onus is on the Prosecution to prove guilt.
And Ramli and Rosli too were ‘tried’ and ‘convicted’ before they were even charged and before the trial could start. They were tried and convicted by the mainstream media at the behest of the Unholy Trinity of the MACC, IGP and AG. So now Ramli and Rosly would have to prove their innocence in a trial.
But what the Unholy Trinity failed to take into consideration was the bungling of their ‘Star Witness’, Kevin Morais. Is this history repeating itself? Are we seeing another ‘Azizan’ about to testify under oath that the allegations are actually false and that the accused did not really commit the crime?
No, Kevin would never dare admit such a thing. He is under orders to bring down Ramli’s lawyer so that the field can be left clear for them to get Ramli. But Kevin’s testimony is infested with contradictions and lies that even laymen who sat in court to follow Rosli’s trial were able to pass judgement that if Kevin was telling the truth then ‘First Lady’ Rosmah Mansor is a virgin.
Read what Malaysia Today’s correspondent had to report about the trial today.
Rosli Dahlan’s trial has seen as many interruptions as diversions. On the 4th and 5th days, more of Kevin Morais’ lies were exposed (see transcript here). What the transcript omitted was the many cheers and jeers every time Kevin said something untruthful and got trapped by the very next question posed by Dato’ K, Kumaraendran.
While undeniably these lies were exposed because of a brilliant cross-examination technique by Rosli’s defence counsel, Dato’ Kumaraendran, credit must also be given to the Sessions Judge, Abu Bakar Katar, who has thus far shown patience in handling the uncountable objections raised by DPP Zulqarnain Hassan just to disrupt the smooth flow of the cross-examination.
In the end, that was the Prosecution’s own undoing. DPP Zulqarnain failed to realise that his disruptive behaviour only made it more clear that he was shielding his boss, Kevin Anthony Morais, from the piercing questions of Dato’ Kumaraendran. It also made it very clear that Kevin, although he was PW2, but being the Deputy Director Legal & Prosecution MACC and DPP Zulqarnain’s boss, had scripted all of DPP Zulqarnain’s objection against almost every question posed by Dato’ Kumaraendran.
The court transcript that Malaysia Today posted also omitted certain remarks that showed all is not well with the Prosecution’s case. For example, after Kevin said that Rosli was involved in the property purchase by Bonus Circle, Dato’ Kumaraendran called his bluff by exhibiting from the Prosecution’s own bundle of documents, the Sale & Purchase Agreements.
When it was shown that the 1st SPA was prepared by Mr Adenan Ismail, while the 2nd SPA was done by Messrs Yap and Yong, Kevin spent a good 20 minutes pretending to look for Rosli’s name in the documents. Losing some patience, Dato’ Kumaraendran asked Kevin, “Di mana anda nampak nama En Rosli?” -- which invited an unsolicited remark from the Judge, “Di dalam mimpi!” This caused a tsunami of laughter from the bar and the public gallery.
Malaysia Today did not earlier report this part because for sure it would not be in the Judge’s final transcript either. As much as this is the truth, Malaysia Today is sure that the mainstream media will say that Malaysia Today embellished this part.
The same happened for the part where Kevin changed his story and did a 180° U-turn about several cheque butts as proof of payment of the bribes -- purportedly made by a certain company called Shuttle Eight Sdn Bhd to Dato’ Ramli Yusuff. When asked to produce the cheque butts, Kevin startled everyone, including the Judge, when he said that he was referring to a cheque butt involving Rosli, not Dato’ Ramli. This caused a Chinese Dato’ in the public gallery who had been following the trial to exclaim, “Hey, it’s the company’s cheque butt la, not your butt. Don’t make up stories.”
Apparently, this Chinese Dato’ has some interesting stories to tell about Kevin’s ACA activities, especially during Kevin’s recent Christmas-New Year holiday trip to England. This Dato’ even contacted Malaysia Today to reveal details of these ACA activities, and which Malaysia Today is still considering if it’s suitable for public consumption!
In the end, Kevin had to admit that he never had any corroborative evidence against Dato’ Ramli to form any “reasonable grounds to believe that an offence had been committed”.
Now, one must not forget that on 16 July 2007, when Kevin issued the s.32 Notice against Rosli, the mainstream media publicised the story that Rosli was arrested for hiding Dato’ Ramli’s RM27 million assets. One must also note that none of the charges against Dato’ Ramli mentioned anything about these RM27 million assets. The mainstream media has been dead silent on this since Rosli initiated three civil suits against Utusan Malaysia, the New Straits Times and The Star.
There is a joke circulating that Rosli’s RM50 million defamation suit includes the RM27 million, which the mainstream media said was hidden by Rosli!
In another of Kevin’s desperate attempt to link Rosli to Dato’ Ramli, Kevin said that at that time he issued Rosli the s. 32 Notice, the “core information was available”. He repeated the word “core” several times that makes one wonder if this is connected to the remark made by the Chinese Dato’ about Kevin’s fondness for another word, “butt”.
Kevin then fibbed that the law allowed him to consider Rosli an “associate” because Rosli was Dato’ Ramli’s university friend. Dato’ Kumaraendran then asked Kevin why, if that was the case, he did not also serve a similar s. 32 Notice on his former boss, Dato’ Nordin Hassan, the former Director of Legal & Prosecution MACC, considering Dato’ Nordin Hassan was closer to Dato’ Ramli compared to Rosli. Apparently, Dato’ Nordin was not just Ramli’s university friend but they were also roommates!
That Ramli, Nordin, Adenan and Rosli all belong to the first batch of law graduates of the International Islamic University (IIU) makes one wonder what is exactly the concept of Islamic Brotherhood (Ikhwanul Muslimin) taught in that university whereas Nordin seems so eager to put two of his Islamic university “brothers” behind bars. Nordin has already earned the distinction of being a key member of the Prosecution Team in Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy I trial. For that Nordin was handsomely rewarded and is now the Deputy Head of Prosecution for the whole of Malaysia, second only to Tun Majid.
Malaysia Today has since discovered that although Tun Majid is the Head of Prosecution of the A-G’s Chambers (for the whole of Malaysia), Tun Majid will not be leading the Prosecution Team in Anwar’s Sodomy 2 trial. Instead, it will be fronted by Dato’ Yusof Zainal Abidin -- whereas Nordin Hassan is the real person tasked to ensure Anwar’s conviction by hook or by crook. Then again, one must remember that Anwar was once the President of IIU. Now that is certainly a feather in Nordin Hassan’s cap if he can again convict not only his “brothers” but also the one-time President of his own university.
Faced with all these hurdles, the Prosecution used the oldest trick in the book by asking for time out so that Kevin’s re-examination can be postponed until the Prosecution gets the official court transcript. Apparently, because of the many contradictions in Kevin’s testimony during cross-examination, Kevin is now worried that he may further perjure himself during re-examination. Already, Rosli is instructing his counsel to impeach Kevin Morais. Now, if that happens, that will be a new twist to Rosli’s trial where DPP Kevin may find himself sitting in the same accused person’s dock that he has made Rosli to sit in throughout this laughable episode.
While figuring how to get out of all these, DPP Zulqarnain thought he will produce a third prosecution witness (PW3), En Adenan Ismail, a former magistrate, whom the MACC thought will play ball. This again went badly when DPP Zulqarnain could not get the answers that he wanted from En Adenan. He therefore asked the Court to force En Adenan to look at a written statement that he had previously given to the MACC and to follow that statement when he gave his testimony. That was the most ridiculous thing that can happen in court.
Obviously, the veiled threat by the DPP Zulqarnain to force En Adenan to toe the line by producing and adopting that statement into his testimony in court has not found favour with Sessions Judge, Tuan Abu Bakar Katar. This morning, the Judge delivered his decision that the MACC cannot force a witness to refer to a statement that the witness had previously given to the MACC.
The Judge should take judicial note of the fact that the MACC record statements from witnesses in a climate of fear. Such statements are tainted by inducement, threat and promise, since these can be recorded beyond office hours. In any civilised country, that would be thrown out as involuntary. In Malaysia, the Court of Appeal recently ruled that witness can be confined to long hours of “interview”.
For today, although Rosli Dahlan has won another moral victory, his battle for vindication is far from over. The next trial dates are 31st May to 2 June 2010. Malaysia Today will report this for the Court of Public Opinion to see if the Unholy Trinity of the MACC, the IGP and the AG will make the outcome of this case differently than what it should be.