Justice is blind! This is the First important principle. A court of law must base its verdict on the quality of the evidence tendered before it. The personalities of the accuser and the accused are of no concern to the Justices.
There is no presumption of guilt when one person accuses another of a crime, no matter how plausible the accusation may appear to be and no matter what the standing and integrity of the accuser. What the accuser may have to gain by his confession, or why he would risk life, limb, liberty, reputation, standing among his fellow men and his God, are realms of speculation that learned judges do not enter into. Once sworn in, the word of a King has no greater effect in the halls of justice than that of his subject before the law lords.
This is an important principle which has been easily forgotten. We still have numerous cases of detentions, remand and arrests without charge, trial or right of appeal under Internal Security Acts and the so-called Prevention of Terrorism Acts. Most Asian countries play-act at it and pretend that they are democracies. They present a thin veneer, a facade which can be held up to the western world to attract FDI’s and to beg the west for unrestricted access for exports to their markets.
There was this famous case where a man, a prisoner of conscience, was incarcerated for 23 years in solitary confinement. He spent another 9 years on an island where he was asked to purchase and prepare his own food and pay rent. The absurd premise for compelling him to pay for board and lodging was that he was a ‘free man’ on the island. But he was never ever charged with any crime or brought to trial before being finally released from captivity. The State’s defence of ‘pre-emptive strike’ is such as would cause a Stalin or a Hitler to blush beet-root red.
Elsewhere a well-educated lady politician has been held under house arrest for several years on the orders of a group of worthless, corrupt, old, frightened men. Generals and cowards who are paralysed and bereft of any sensible idea of how to pull their nation into the modern era. It may well be that Burma should not modernise, that it should develop in its own way and at its own pace. The capitals and main cities across Asia, ashamed of their own ancient cultures, have become poor imitations of downtown London, New York and Paris. These cities are filled with nothing more than bland shopping malls, discos, high-tea serving hotels and convention centres. Bored citizens and visitors alike regard ‘shopping’ and conspicuous, tasteless consumption as ‘hobby.’
We have witnessed the disaster of the Soviet Union in shuffling off the coils of Marxism and Communism too quickly. In China a delicate balancing act is being attempted by another gaggle of old tyrants who are guilty of mass slaughter and ought to have been strung up long ago. In North Korea an insane buffoon, a troglodyte is in his death throes. He knows the game is up but will still insist on one last fling, threatening a nuclear confrontation. So, these decisions are not for the crooks, thieves, mass murderers, tyrants and despots of the world to make.
These illegal, unconstitutional Acts have shifted the burden of proof to the accused. Rest assured that there are no bases in our Constitution, or for the matter, in the Constitution and legal framework of any society, for these Acts. They are against God’s laws of human rights. When wolves, and in some cases eagles, bears, tigers mistaken for lions, and pandas, as well, rule in sheeps’ clothing, then individual human rights and freedom are always the first casualty.
Even a single arrest without probable cause is one too many. We have allowed, by not speaking up and by not engaging in non-violent protests, schoolyard bullies, cowards and gangsters to rise to power in this world!
When we look at the facts of the case and the evidence presented before us, there can only be one conclusion.
Firstly, we note the lightning-speed conviction of the accuser of having committed indecent acts with the accused in another court. This self-confession is surely a unique case of the victim being convicted ahead of the perpetrator!
What then shall we make of an accuser who, claiming higher moral ground some years after the alleged incidents, is himself convicted of khalwat? At that, in the very midst of this trial and if we may be permitted to add, with indecent haste in another court. An accuser who could not name while on the stand a single hotel where he claims he was compromised. An accuser who when he does recall the building-scene of the crime, has to confront the inconvenient truth that the construction of that very implied apartment building had only been half completed. Which necessitates the confiscation of the accused’s diaries by the Public Prosecutor and law enforcers. And hey presto! we have a new date for the alleged crime.
We shudder to think of the precedence set by the No. 1 Law Enforcer in the country who assaulted the accused in his cell. This cowardly act was initially dismissed by the Great Leader who speculated that these were self-inflicted by the accused!
Others do speak about secret investigations’ of the accused’s ‘aberrant’ behaviour. But cannot tender black and white evidence, and do speak of files that cannot be revealed ‘in the interest of national security,’ or of files if ever opened, which are lost. Several enforcers seemed to have suffered from convenient attacks of amnesia while on the stand. What does it say about the integrity of our law enforcers who should be there to protect the weak from the excesses of the strong, stand firm, be unbiased and not to carte blanche side the rulers against the ruled?
When DNA evidence was proven tainted and inconclusive, the prosecutor took the unusual route of withdrawing the earlier charge and framing a new one. After having insinuated sexual misdemeanours that would cause the madame of a brothel to blush. Which was somewhat avoided by legally re-classifying evidence tendered in open court and rubber stamping it as 'EXPUNGED!'
Thus, the Law Lords have arrived at a unanimous decision.
Will the accused rise! We will not entertain any untoward outburst of emotions from the gallery. The bailiffs have instructions to immediately clear the court in the event of any unseemly behaviour.
The enforcers shall not re-arrest the accused under the ISA, regardless of our verdict, once we have delivered it. We shall not in this instance hesitate to charge any enforcer with contempt of court, meaning detention in a prison cell until a suitable date of hearing can be fixed, if our directives are not strictly complied with. We trust this is clearly understood. The bailiffs shall take note.
It is the considered decision of this Court that the charges against the accused are completely unproven. When reduced to its bare essentials, it is a case of one man’s word against another. It is a cardinal principle in such cases that it would without doubt be unsafe to convict unless firm, corroborative evidence is tendered. In this instance that kind of evidence is manifestly conspicuous by its absence. Whether the accuser was instigated and manipulated by unnamed powers that be in a conspiracy that must not fail, or not, does not fall within the scope or purview of our inquiries or remit of our duties!
The case against the accused is dismissed, with costs awarded to the accused.
We further recommend to His Majesty, the Honourable King of our glorious nation that a Royal Commission be set up post-haste to inquire into allegations of a conspiracy against the accused. The conduct of the Great Leader and Office of the Public Prosecutor in leaking selectively sub-judice information to certain quarters of the Press Corps has to be investigated. As should be that of the Chief Law Enforcer and his officers some of whom appear to have committed perjury while under oath. We are extremely concerned with the highly suspicious convictions of several others who appeared severely disoriented and poorly represented when brought before other courts. These were individuals and citizens who were deemed to have committed indecent acts with the accused. Surely His Majesty does not wish to be accused that ‘Something is rotten in the State of Denmark!’
The accused is innocent and free to go home!
The court is adjourned! Bang!’
‘Oh hell, what was that Sanjay?’
‘Oh, kakak just broke your favourite drinking glass, dad.’
‘What? Oh hell!Can’t get a decent post-lunch power nap! Where’s mum, Sanjay? Darling, let me tell you about this dream I just had. You thought it only happened to JR Ewing in ‘Dallas’?