Thursday, June 8, 2017

Government appeal in the offing

AG reported to have said the prosecution will seek further hearing in Bill Kayong’s murder trial
Captain (R) Collin Imran

MIRI: The acquittals of three men charged with abetment in the murder of social activist Bill Kayong have raised a storm of protest and calls by criminal lawyers to the government to appeal against the court’s decision.

Responding to the outcry, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali was reported by FMT to have said the government will appeal against the acquittal when asked by the news portal yesterday.

“The prosecution will be filing an appeal against the said acquittals,” Apandi, who is also the public prosecutor, told FMT via WhatsApp.

The prosecution has 14 days to file its notice of appeal.

Much of the anger was directed at the prosecution for what many perceived to be poor handling of the case which resulted in the acquittal of the three men, Datuk Stephen Lee Chee Kiang, Lie Chang Loon and Chin Wui Ching. Only Mohamad Fitri Fauzi, the man accused of firing the shot, has to enter his defence and answer the charge.

FMT also reported that Sarawak prosecutions director Kamal Bahrain Omar is preparing a report for the Attorney-General on the evidence that was tendered in court that resulted in the trial judge, Ravinthran N Paramaguru, ruling that the prosecution had failed to furnish evidence linking the trio to the murder.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Dayak Association (Pedas) called on all its members and supporters to remain calm despite their unhappiness with Tuesday’s court ruling.

Pedas president Captain (R) Collin Imran, when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday, said the association is still reeling in shock and disappointment over the ruling.

“I was not present at the court yesterday as I was not in Miri. Like the majority of the Dayak community, I – as Pedas president – am disappointed and shocked with the ruling.

“Even though we are all disappointed with the ruling on Tuesday, we hope that our Pedas members, including Bill’s supporters, remain calm and not resort to taking the law into their own hands,” he said.

Collin agreed with a statement by state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Baru Bian that the prosecution failed to produce evidence in court that linked Mohamad Fitri with the alleged mastermind of the murder.

~ Borneo Post

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