Thursday, July 12, 2007

PKR squeezing last drop of blood from a dead woman

Oh oh oh, it’s the usual from PKR that malaysiakini has just reported.

The party leadership is still pushing the campaign against Najib (but not AAB or KJ), relying on what Burmaa Oyunchimeg, prosecution witness, told the court on on June 29. She claimed she saw a photograph of Altantuya dining in Paris with the third accused Abdul Razak Baginda and a government official known only as ‘Najib Razak’.

malaysiakini reported:

PKR wants the police to check the passport of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to determine if there is any link between him and slain Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today, the opposition party’s supreme council member Latheefa Koya said it is important for the police to look into this matter since Najib previously denied knowing Altantuya.

She said this based on the testimony of the murder victim’s cousin Burmaa Oyunchimeg during the ongoing murder trial.

Latheefa said the police should check the passports of all three individuals, to determine if they were in Paris at the same time

This has become a joke when PKR political interests have degenerated into exploiting a side issue to press in its campaign against Najib for … whatever interests its leadership might and may have in mind. But then, hardly unexpected of a de facto party with a de facto leader.

It so happened I asked Raja, a visitor to Susan Loone blog, who has been noted to post erudite and very carefully thought out legal commentaries in relation to the Altantuyaa’s case, a few questions this morning.

I have learnt a few things from him and even had one of my vague understanding of hearsay evidence confirmed as correct – champagne all around ;-)

I asked Raja:

… how would the court (i.a.w world’s best practice, of course) assess or categorize the ‘evidence’ or statement by Burmaa Oyunchimeg about the photo which she saw but could not produce.

Would her claim that the late Altantuyaa told her a person in the photo was a Malaysian officer named Najib Razak be considered as ‘hearsay’ and inadmissible?

I have heard of some exceptions to hearsay evidence where (from vague recollection) a dying man were to reveal to a priest or monk that his murderer was, say, KTemoc (gulp), that could well be admitted - would I be correct here, and if so, would this example, admittedly drawing a long bow here, be akin to the Altantuyaa’s

Raja commented (I have slipped in some comments of my own but in different highlights):

a. For something to be admissible it must first be relevant to the issue.

b. Then if relevant it must not be inadmissible for being hearsay evidence. For example, a confession statement by a witness or a suspect under interrogation by the police is inadmissible if the purpose is to use it in court to prove the truth of contents.

That prosecution witness was not answering questions posed to her by the prosecution when she said she was shown by Altantuya a photograph of a group of people sitting around a table for a meal and among them was a government official (meaning the DPM), Razak and the deceased. If the purpose was to prove the fact of a possible conspiracy involving a high government official and the accused, and to attack the credibility of that government official, that government official is not on trial, nor is he a witness - and so is the Government of Malaysia not on trial.

“…witness was not answering questions posed to her by the prosecution when she said she was shown by Altantuya a photograhg …” – hmmm, KTemoc wonders why the prosecution witness decided to go on her own bat by bringing out the thus-far unavailable photograph which dear old Tian Chua had pounced on to help make available through some ‘magic’ of his own

Some foundation must first be built by counsel to allow its admission into evidence - and in this case the prosecution had nothing like that in mind. The witnessed was not being examined on the possibility of such a photograph or any photograph. While that may be so, prosecution should have allowed the witness to continue. If the defense objects the judge would most certainly sustain that objection on the ground of relevancy.

But that was not what happened. Both counsel from the prosecution and the defense stood up to object! The attorney holding a watching brief has had to ’stand up’ to ask the judge to allow the witness to have her say or complete her testimony.

I find the behavior of counsel for the prosecution strange though not unexpected. Allowing their witness to continue with her testimony would not have damaged their case - though irrelevant.

I am not sure why the defense is objecting!

Before evidence is admissible in court, it has first to be relevant. The photograph is not relevant.

Really? You wouldn't have thought so with the way they PKR crowd have been baying.

Forget the trial for a minute. If relevant what does it prove? It proves that the DPM had lied to the people when he said he did not know the accused - but he is not even a witness in this trial?

Could that be made a basis to charge him with conspiracy to murder? In my opinion - insufficient to prove anything more than the fact that they were having a meal. Period.

Hmmm, legally speaking of course. But politically speaking, which ends justify the dirty poo flinging, trust a party virtually bankrupt of policies and (democratic) process to squeeze to the last drop of Mongolian blood to somehow extract Najib’s from the non relevant issue.

Then Raja commented on my hypothetical case of “a dying man revealing to a priest or monk that his murderer was, say, KTemoc (gulp)” and whether such an example could be akin to Burmaa’s claim of Altantuyaa showing her a photo?

A dying declaration is an exception to the common law rule against hearsay. You are right.

… explains my elation and reckless offer of champagne …

Altantuya never made a statement that could be said to be her ‘dying declaration’. The letters left by her referring to Razak is admissible only to prove her state of mind if that is in issue - and not the truth of contents e.g. Razak was trying to have her killed unless she stopped harassing him.

Good try PKR, and I do mean it, because as they say, fling enough poo and some will inevitably stick. And bugger the feelings of the family of the late Altantuyaa by unnecessarily (for them) indulging in sensational mud rucking, and bugger also ethical due process.

The reformasi way?


  1. Does that imply Burmaa Oyunchimeg, and possibly Stev Shaaribu are complicit in a vast international conspiracy masterminded by a certain defacto party leader to smear the good name of the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister ?

    I've been reading too many spy thrillers...maybe I should dust off my old law books and read them instead.

  2. I expected your continuing Anwar/PKR bashing but this commentary brings you to a new low. You seem to ignore your highly-regarded friend's comment about how strange both prosecution and defense ganging-up against the very mention of a photograph and his thinking that the prosecution could have just continued. How can they determine the relevancy when they objected to it immediately and didnt even try to explore it? Question is what is there to hide? The photograph, if exist, does not implicate Najib of murder obviously. But we the Rakyat need to know if our potential no. 1 leader is a blatant liar. Even you with your biased mind can see that, can't you? or are you too engrossed with your mission to think that we all are that gullible to buy your spin?

  3. Anon, come from your high PKR horse - none of you people (except for Dr Syed Husin) deserve any elevated position.

    If I had ignore the strange behaviour of both the prosecution and defence, I would have easily deleted/omitted Raja's comments on that portion - but I didn't. I put it all down for you to read, and hopefully think.

    But alas, a cyber-jihadist is always a blind jihadist - a leopard can never change its spots.

    Why have your party continue to misuse and mis-intervene/mis-comment in the court proceedings of a murder case, even to the extent of intensifying the agony of the victim's family?

    The answer - not for justice but for your party's grubby interest, by collateral blackening of the name of an enemy politician.

    Your so-called (unelected) leader has the brazen face to preach about moralistic and democratic due process to others, while he allows his party to stoop to so low a tactic.

    Hey, it's not new since this smear campaign started way back during the Sarawak state elections right thro' Ijok to even now.

    "... too engrossed with your mission ..." Indeed I am, to show the world what a hypocrite we have.

    And as for your "... we the Rakyat need to know ... ?" boss, you don't speak for the Rakyat when you can't even win a seat in so many by-elections.

  4. Well, Mr Raja's discussion about procedure and its ramifications was interesting but quite tangential - if at all, isn't it?

    From what I understand from that Malaysiakini report, the request is for the police to clarify DPM's relationship with Altantuya by reference to his passport (which is pretty easy to fix, surely). I don't see how PKR is demanding Najib be made accountable in the trial per se.

    As for squeezing the last drop.. well, I enjoy hyperbole almost as much as the next person, but I think we should all own up to squeezing the last drop of opinion or comment from the collective miseries of revathi, moorthy, lina joy, the residents of ijok... lol.

    or even with politicians squeezing the last ounce of fear out of kissing the keris, banging tables about article 121(A), apostasy trials...

    you get my drift, right?

  5. ... based on a court witness' hearsay evidence? ;-)

    well, a blogger has the prerogative of choosing his topic to post, and there's plenty to choose from ;-) and indeed there's plenty of opinions out there.

    we malaysians are great at giving out opinions if not anything

  6. Well, there's that.

    And then there's recognizing the inherent hypocrisy of acting like the cyberjihadist PKR people who usually sway into your crosshairs LOL...

    This must be some sort of yin-yang thing. Both can't seem to live without the other, or something like that. :P

  7. oh, i've never hidden my disdain for that person - right from Day 1 - no hypocrisy there, sheer consistency, sorry no apologies

  8. well, that's the problem when you have so much disdain/hatred towards someone. You see evrything with a negative spin. Try opening your mind a bit...critisize objectively and keep an open mind. It's good for your health...

  9. ha, that 'hate/hatred' word again, surely from a PKR person ;-) disdain and hatred are two different words

    no time to hate people, even someone like him or Cyclops or ..... (fill in blank)

    That's teh whole with you people, always hating hating hating

  10. PKR supporter...pls be reminded i am no PKR hater.
    (aiyor....why do i always have to precede my comments with this statement)

    anyway, expectation is high from the rakyat that is eager to overthrow BN. We want to see a credible alternative. Not an icon, not some news grabber, but a credible alternative.

    I am dissapointed with PKR when it portrays an impression of just another below average political party. The stand of the party on many issues remains vague. Anwar stands on issues depends upon the audience which he addressed. Look at how his views changed when he speaks at Pas meeting.

    Ask him about his stand on apostacy, on ISA, on IPCMC and finally on NEP. It seems to me anwar is PKR and PKR is anwar. That's bad.

    By the way, anon, take this as a plea not criticism. Don't label me (and KTemoc) as anti-PKR out of convenience, that's not a mature way of handling criticism. Show us some maturity, sense of responsibilities, and the ability to see things from a larger perspective.

  11. PKR seems to want to get rid of Najib, and play into the hands of the Najib detractors within UMNO.

    If Najib goes, it will only hasten the rise of a worst iblis, KJ.

    Better Najib than KJ, I say.

  12. Oh noes, there are people who don't worship the ground Anwar walks on! They must have irrational HATRED for him!

    Give me a break.

  13. No, I don't worship the ground Anwar walks on. His actions before and during his time as DPM are well documented. And I'm definitely not a Keadilan member.

    But I do know people in Keadilan.
    I can tell you its very refreshing to meet Malays who do not buy into the UMNO kleptocracy, and on the other hand are not trying to create a Taliban state. I wish there were more such people around, but Keadilan's organising machinery is pretty shitty.

    I'm afraid they are going to have a bad show this GE, mainly because the simply haven't got their act together.