Bersih 2.0 Questions Judicial Independence

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 – The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) has expressed its disappointment with the Federal Court today following the verdict against Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his Sodomy 2 case and described it as “a black eye for judicial independence”.

In a media statement released by the coalition, it said that the court used the “flimsiest of arguments” and had disregarded “other serious flaws in the case”. “Make no mistake, it has been a political trial from Day One, and the verdict underscores this. “Further, the five-year prison sentence meted out to Anwar has effectively ended the political career of the person who would have been our Prime Minister were our elections free and fair,” said Bersih 2.0, as quoted from the statement.

The statement, which was released by the steering committee of Bersih 2.0, added that among the core public institutions that needed reforming was the judiciary. “This was admitted by the Chief Justice himself, who, a week after the High Court acquitted Anwar in 2012, called for judicial independence.

“We wonder whether he believed his own words today, as he sat on the highest court of the land and delivered this verdict. “This is a political persecution reflective of an extremely flawed democracy.” The committee members who issued the statement included its chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah, deputy chairperson Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan, treasurer Masjaliza Hamzah and national representatives Assoc Prof Dr Abdul Halim Yusof.

Bersih 2.0 also mentioned the incident earlier today where Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, through his Twitter account, said police would be taking action against Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming and political cartoonist Zunar under the Sedition Act 1948 following their Twitter posts against the judgement.

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