Trend of charges against PH leaders being withdrawn is worrying

The ‘trend’ of charges against Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders being withdrawn is worrying, Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman Said said.

Her statement follows the acquittal of PKR’s Sungai Buloh MP R. Sivarasa, the same party’s former Padang Rengas MP N. Surendran, and political cartoonist Zunar of sedition charges yesterday over remarks related to the previous Sodomy II prosecution of de facto PH leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

KUALA LUMPUR: The ‘trend’ of charges against Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders being withdrawn is worrying, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said.

The Pengerang member of Parliament said the Attorney-General must explain the rationale behind such a decision as it could lead to negative public perception of the judiciary.

She said even more worrying was that the withdrawn cases involved those facing sedition, criminal breach of trust, and information leak charges.

“In such cases, there must be a clear explanation because it may create a negative perception on the separation of powers in the country,” she said.

Azalina, who was the former de facto law minister in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, however did not state the cases against PH leaders she was referring to.

However, she acknowledged that Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution granted the AG absolute powers in preferring charges and his decision cannot be challenged in any court.

Nevertheless, she said the judicial arm of government must be seen to be free from any form of meddling.

“The government needs to be extra careful when any decision is taken so that it does not create a negative perception towards the judiciary and legal body in the country,” she said.

Azalina’s statement follows the acquittal of PKR’s Sungai Buloh MP R. Sivarasa, the same party’s former Padang Rengas MP N. Surendran, and political cartoonist Zunar of sedition charges yesterday over remarks related to the previous Sodomy II prosecution of de facto PH leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In Sivarasa’s case the deputy public prosecutor told the Sessions Court that the prosecutor had accepted a representation from the PKR lawmaker who is now Deputy Rural ad Regional Development Minister.

A separate judge in the Sessions Court freed Surendran and Zunar of sedition after another deputy public prosecutor said his office was withdrawing charges.

Source: NST Online

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