Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer filed a 63-page affidavit yesterday, 14 February, alleging misconduct by top members of the judiciary
The affidavit was filed in support of the daughter of Karpal Singh, Sangeet Kaur Deo's court application to seek a declaration that Chief Justice Richard Malanjum failed to complete investigations into cases of judicial interference.
The 63-page document revealed allegations of bullying and coercion of lawyers, constitutional conspiracy, and the purported interference of high-profile court cases in the country.
1. The case of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
According to Hamid, an event was held in the Palace of Justice nearing the retirement of a Chief Justice who decided on Anwar's case. The Chief Justice was then praised by an unnamed minister, who said "the government would not forget all the good things" he did.
One Federal Court member, who sat in Anwar's case a day before his retirement, purportedly had an urgent meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister. Another Chief Justice, who also sat in Anwar's case, is an Antagonist of Rule of Law and Constitution (ARLC) known for judicial interference.
Hamid also revealed that the prosecution in Anwar's case failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt, and no fair trial was offered to the Prime Minister-in-waiting. However, the issue was "brushed aside" by the Court of Appeal.
Moreover, in a case of 'constitutional conspiracy', both the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court allegedly dug for evidence to justify Anwar's conviction.
"In addition to the five years' sentence, Anwar's case was in fact a judicial tragedy, which has brought shame to the integrity of our judicial process," Hamid said.
2. The case of Karpal Singh
Following the 14th General Election, a senior Court of Appeal judge, who was involved in deciding Karpal's sedition case, allegedly confessed to Hamid that verdict of the case was directed to be changed.
The initial verdict was in favour of Karpal. This information reportedly supports the claim by Karpal's daughter Sangeet Kaur Deo, who reported that the late lawyer's acquittal was asked to be reversed to conviction in 2016.
Hamid added that a female judge who refused to adhere to the 'reversal' lost her chance for promotion, and she was bypassed in elevation to the Federal Court. She eventually received her promotion after the 14th General Election, albeit losing seniority and some income.
"(She) was one of the most hard-working judges... In my view, the lady judge was the best Malay lady judge in our judiciary history.
3. The case of Indira Gandhi
Hamid was accused of judicial activism by ARLC after he ruled the conversion of Indira Gandhi's children as illegal in 2016.
"He (ARLC) also threw tantrums in an uncivilised manner... His unconstitutional conduct has caused me great mental stress and still continuing," Hamid said in the affidavit.
Malaysiakini reported in 2018 that Hamid was no longer assigned to hear cases that are constitution-related and involving public interests following Indira's case.
4. The case of Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad
The Edge Markets reported in 2014 that current Setiawangsa Member of Parliament (MP) Nik Nazmi was charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act for organising the Black Out Rally in 2013.
However, Hamid was among the three-man bench who ruled that it was unconstitutional to require citizens to give a 10-day notice to hold a peaceful assembly.
"That judgement was a historical one in relation to peaceful assembly. Our decision was not appealable under the law," Hamid said in the affidavit.
Hamid alleged that the decision backfired after top judges joined hands to suggest that constitutional issues must be heard by the Federal Court, instead of the Court of Appeal.
"ARLC subsequently came to sit in the Court of Appeal... to overrule the effect of our decision," the Court of Appeal judge revealed.
"Because of the said unconstitutional overruling, there arose an opportunity to charge important opposition members such that some of them were not able to stand in the election," Hamid added.
5. The case of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
Hamid claimed that certain judges showed "comical" jurisprudence when it came to the cases brought by Mahathir.
"In one case brought by the current Prime Minister, one judge told me the relevant High Court judge was called by ARLC to dismiss his (Mahathir's) application," Hamid said.
Sin Chew Daily reported that the case Hamid was referring to is the Prime Minister's bid to challenge the appointment of Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin in 2017.
The Court of Appeal judge stressed that the judiciary must be 'cleaned up' to rid Malaysia of kleptocracy
"I hope and pray that the other right-thinking members of the judiciary will sincerely join hands to clean the judiciary (and) save Malaysia from kleptocracy," Hamid said in the affidavit.
According to him, Pakatan Harapan decided to continue having the "same players" in the judiciary with "cosmetic changes" – which is not enough.
Hamid eventually called for this "judicial scandal" to be addressed in order to uphold the integrity of the rule of law.