Thursday, July 4, 2013

Prosecutors fail to deliver justice on Chee Gaik Yap’s case

Nationwide signature campaign to petition against High Court’s acquittal and discharge of suspect.


Reeling in from the shock and anger over the prosecution team to provide a prima facie case against a rape and murder suspect, civil societies, state and national leaders all helped collect signatures and make police reports nationwide to urge the Attorney-General’s Chamber file an appeal in 14 days. Today is the eighth day.
A free man now, Shahril Jaafar was discharged and acquitted by the Alor Setar High Court last Thursday. Shahril had absconded to Perth in 2006 while out on bail during trial. He was only apprehended by the police when he landed at the Subang Airport in January 2012.

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According to the Section 388 (1) of the Criminal Code of Procedures (CPC), it states that::

When any person accused of any non-bailable offence is arrested or detained without warrant by a police officer or appears or is brought before a Court, he may be released on bail by the officer in charge of the police district or by that Court, but he shall not be so released if there appears reasonable grounds for believing that he has been guilty of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life…

With such clear regulations, why then was an accused man suspected of both rape and murder allowed bail? Is it because he is the son of a prominent figure? And why was he only charged with murder and not rape as well?
As a woman, I feel totally appalled and rebuke the incompetence of the law enforcers in administering justice in this case. Have law practitioners forgotten their duties to protect their citizens?

How can we expect the streets to be safe when the odds are stacked against the victim and the system flawed? Despite conflicting public opinion, official statistics released by the government always claim that crime rate in the country have gone down.

Not unlike a direct contradiction, three strikingly high-profiled cases of home burglary were reported within the last two months. One was the home belonging to the sister of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin, at SS3 Petaling Jaya. Another break-in happened in Mantin, Negeri Sembilan, home to the sister of Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar; and the latest, at Bukit Damansara, home of Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister for Youth and Sports.

“This incident is a reminder to us all that crime is a serious problem in our country. It is a real issue and not just merely a perception,” said Khairy Jamaluddin, admitting the severity of crime in the country.

Judicial Commissioner Zaki Abdul Wahab ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the accused killed the victim, Chee Gaik Yap, who was then only 25 years old. The DNA in the semen found on the victim did not completely match that of the accused, as there might be a third person involved, Zaki elaborated as he read out his judgment.

With lop-sided and partisan structures within the judiciary and legislature, it is little wonder that stained mattresses and three-day old evidences left up in the nether region orifices can be presented in court as sufficient evidence to incriminate someone while the brutal and depraved criminals go scot-free, and the lack of evidence cited.

How can we entrust our safety and lives to an authority that treats serious crimes with a lackadaisical and indifferent attitude? Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch) insisted on June 25 that the Deputy IGP, Mohd Bakri Zini should clarify crime statistics.

“Serious crimes such as criminal intimidation, abduction, extortion and causing grievous hurt are classified as non-indexed crimes, which are not included in the national crime statistics,” MyWatch revealed, and stressed the need to ascertain if this was the normal practice by the Interpol and neighbouring countries.

If 50,000 signatures still fail to persuade the Attorney-General to rise to the occasion and make good an opportunity for reparation towards the family of Chee Gaik Yap, the public are then forced to agglomerate yet another example of the severe abortion of the law, to the likes of Teoh Beng Hock, Kugan and many others.

For now, we can only hope and pray. Tomorrow, any one of us can be the next victim.

Link to article in MSN

Link to photo gallery at MSN
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