Jan 6 (Bernama) -- Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah came under
fire today from several quarters over his statement yesterday on the probe
into the injuries sustained by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri
Anwar Ibrahim while in police custody.
Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, urged Mohtar to be more transparent and
professional about the investigation into the alleged assault on her husband.
"Why is the report
made by the doctors not released?" she asked at a news conference behind
the Sultan Abdul Samad building here which houses the High Court where
Anwar's corruption trial is ongoing.
She said that the
Home Minister "should admit about the assault and should also be held responsible."
Azizah also claimed
receiving reports that the police's Special Branch had been threatening
activists supporting her newly-formed Pergerakan Keadilan Sosial (Adil),
a non-governmental organisation and Anwar's so-called Reformasi movement.
However, she said:
"We value the role played by the majority of the police force in carrying
out their duties properly and in accordance with the constitution and laws
of the country."
She said Mohtar's
announcement relating to Anwar's injury was disappointing, claiming that
the matter had still not been seriously investigated after almost four
Anwar, who was
arrested on Sept 20 after leading an illegal assembly and demonstration
by his supporters in the federal capital, appeared in court nine days later
sporting a black eye which he said was the result of a beating while in
Parti Rakyat Malaysia
(PRM) president Dr Syed Husin Ali called on Mohtar to resign, saying it
was scandalous that after four months of probe the AG was only able to
report that the inquiry was still incomplete.
Syed Husin called
for the setting up of an independent body to fully probe the incident,
saying that the public would be satisfied with nothing less than full accountability.
The Gerakan said
it was baffled by the AG's statement and felt that it was unacceptable
as there was no clear mention of exactly who or which party was responsible
for the injuries on Anwar.
Its deputy secretary-general
Dr Tan Kee Kwong said the party hoped that the report would be concluded
soon to restore public confidence in the police force.
"Gerakan is of
the opinion that ideally, someone outside the police, for example a retired
judge, be responsible for heading the investigation," he said in a statement.
Lim Kit Siang said Mohtar's statement was not only "long overdue but also
scandalous when Mohtar said that the ongoing investigation had not identified
the person responsible for the injury."
He called for the
setting up of an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe the matter
"to command public confidence and credibility."
Movement For A Just World (JUST) said the Malaysian public would not be
satisfied with just such an admission by the AG.
In his statement
yesterday Mohtar said that he had scrutinised all the statements and examined
all the evidence, including the reports of medical experts namely the forensic
report by Kuala Lumpur Hospital experts, a medical report by a panel of
University Hospital doctors and the opthalmologist report.
Among others, he
said he was of the opinion that the police was fully responsible for the
injuries to Anwar while he was in their legal custody and that the investigation
carried out so far had not identified the person or persons responsible
for such injuries.
Bar Council said it viewed with grave concern the result of the conclusion
made in Mohtar's statement that "there are injuries on certain parts of
his (Anwar) body which are proved to have been caused by police officers
whilst he was in police custody."
"The Bar Council
wishes to state that these matters are of grave concern not only to the
legal profession but to the public at large as they vitally concern our
system of administration of law and order and the treatment of persons
in police custody," its president Dr Cyrus Das said in a statement.
He said the council
noted that the Attorney-General had rightly given the assurance that he
would not hesitate to consent to the institution of prosecution against
any individual proved to have committed or abetted the commission of such
The Bar Council
urged Mohtar to direct the special investigation team to speedily complete
its task and to institute prosecution against those identified to have
caused the injuries or abetted the same, Das added.