Bar council president should resign for misleading the public, says Lukman Sheriff

Chris Leong, the bar council president should resign for misleading the public, says lawyer Lukman Sheriff.

After reading the relevant penal code sections and judgement, there can be no other interpretation under section 377A and B that in DSAI’s case only Saiful can be a victim. S377A and B do not make it an offence to have a homosexual relationship. It makes it a crime for a man to insert his manhood in the anus of another be it a man, woman or young or old persons.

This is the full judgement by the federal court (see http://www.kehakiman.gov.my/…/JUDGMENT_DSAI_V_PP__PP_V_DSAI…) and the photo in the commentary is a reference to section 377A and B.

A call to charge a victim of a sexual crime for abetting in a crime where he or she is a victim is a preposterous fallacy and a dangerous precedent for all sex crimes. Chris Leong, being the president of the Malaysian Bar knows or should know that this is not a tenable position in law. Yet he issued the following misleading statements:10428640_10152532215427820_2512587691896974728_n“This has also given rise to questions or concerns as to why the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who was alleged to have been a participant in the act of sodomy, was not charged for abetment under sections 377A and 377B, read together with section 109, of the Penal Code.”

As a president of the bar, he should have clarified that this misconception was wrong in law. But instead he gave credence to and spread the misconception tainting the judiciary. The Bar should be the first to protect the judiciary against unfair and scurrilous attack on the judiciary and legal system. But in this case they were the one who made the unfounded comment. Thus, not only were they in dereliction of their duties to defend the judiciary but the Bar partook in the exercise to unfairly embarrass the judiciary. They unjustly accuse the whole case as fueling “a perception that Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been persecuted, and not prosecuted.”

Further the bar failed to highlight that there are hundreds of cases before the courts on the use of Section 377B. There is even a case initiated prior to DSAI’s case where the court has imposed a sentence to more than 5 years for a similar offence. The Bar failed to explain this fact and created the impression of selective prosecution of rarely used law.

All these are wrong. The bar has clearly misled the public in the press statement by the President. They failed to explain and clarify the law. They were not only in dereliction of their duties to defend the judges, judiciary and legal system against unfair or scurrilous attack, but partook in the unfair embarrassment of the justice system. This is appalling.

For this I call the President of the Bar Council Chris Leong to rectify the misleading statement and tender a public apology. He must clarify with all the international NGOs whom the Bar has worked with to rectify the misconception of the case. Failing which I call for the resignation and public censure of Chris Leong as the President of the Bar council.

Feel free to share this.

PS: For those lawyers who believe in furthering the motion against the President, please PM Lukman Sheriff via FB through the messenger. Leave me your name, number, uni name and grad year.

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