Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Ipoh Timur MP Thomas Su have requested the Bar Council to clarify whether the Sodomy 2 trial’s lead prosecutor Shafee Abdullah is permitted by the law to share details of the case in an UMNO road show along with the party’s youth faction.
Lim told reporters that he disagreed with the Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who had given the green light for the road show to include Shafee, with the intention of sharing evidence that was given in camera.
Evidence given in camera refers to judicial proceedings which are closed to the public and the press and only relevant parties are present before the court. Lim argued that revealing details of what took place during such proceedings would defeat the purpose of having the hearing in camera.
“I strongly disagree with the government’s stand and the Deputy Prime Minister’s statement, because going by his logic, any rape cases involving minors – testimonies in camera can be revealed later, legally,” said Lim.
Su said that he disagreed with the revealing of testimonies given in camera, because there were reasons why it cannot be publicized. For instance, one of the purposes of this legal procedure is to protect victims in sensitive cases.
“ We are not only talking about Anwar’s case, we are talking about the whole legal process. If he is allowed to disclose evidence given in camera, then it serves no purpose – because the main thing which is the protection of the victim, is gone,” he said.
At the second leg of the UMNO road show held last week in Permatang Pauh, the media were told not to cover the talk. Weighing in on the controversial rally, DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said that this protected Shafee from being challenged in the court of law or in the court of public opinion for the statements he makes.
He also lambasted the road show for being “cowardly”, as Anwar, who is currently serving time in Sungai Buloh prison, was not given the opportunity to respond to the accusations.
He added that the road show is compounded by the fact that Shafee did not divulge to taxpayers how much he was paid by the government to lead the prosecution at the trial.
The road show is seen by opposition leaders as an attempt to win over public approval for the Sodomy 2 verdict.