Will Yusof be truthful of his decision in representing Anwar?
KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer believes the recent appointment of Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden is a political stunt by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to tell the public that he was not guilty of the previous sodomy case against him.
Faisal Moideen said: “Personally it seems as if the appointment is heading to that direction (of political stunt) where Anwar wants to link the recent appointment of his lawyer with the previous sodomy case against him.”
Legally, Faisal said there was nothing wrong with Yusof’s decision to represent Anwar as his client.
“Still, the decision speaks a lot of their characters,” he added.
Faisal further said the onus is on Mohd Yusof to explain his position in taking up the case to avoid the matter being politicised by Anwar or the opposition parties.
Another lawyer Reza Rahim believed Mohd Yusof should not put himself in a conflicting situation even if it is technically legal for him to do so.
“The question remains whether his actions will compromise the pending appeal of the sodomy case. Surely he knows what the weak points of the appeal, it is questionable whether he will reveal it to his client,” Reza added.
Mohd Yusof surprised many yesterday for representing the Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader when he had previously led the prosecution team in the Sodomy 2 trial.
Anwar had reportedly claimed victory for Mohd Yusof’s willingness to be a part of his legal team in a new court case against him which he claimed “a politically motivated” charge.
Anwar and other PKR leaders Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham Shaharin were charged under Section 4(2)(c) of Peaceful Assembly Act for their involvement in Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.
Few blogs questioned Mohd Yusof’s decision and speculations are rife with many questioning his commitment on the Sodomy 2 trial.
A blog post at Barking Magpie alleged Mohd Yusof did not do his best during the sodomy trial, resulting in Anwar’s acquittal.
The post also questioned: “How can a former public prosecutor now, upon retirement, decided to become a defender of Anwar, now a legal counsel for Anwar on the on-going charges of breaking the law while demonstrating.”
Lawyer Azhar Harun or better known as Art Harun said there should not be any issue on Mohd Yusof’s representing Anwar as both cases are different.
“This is a complete different case. He (Mohd Yusof) can act for Anwar but of course he should not be involved anymore in any development in the sodomy case like the appeal process,” Art Harun said.
“Besides, as a practising lawyer, Yusof has the right to represent anyone for his client,” he said adding ethically there was no issue for the appointment.
Edmund Bon said lawyers are bound to ethical rules under the Legal Profession Act whereby a paramount consideration should be taken to the client’s best interest.
Commenting on Mohd Yusof’s appointment by Anwar Edmund said the matter of conflict of interest should be dealt between the client and the lawyer.
He said a report should be lodged to seek judicial review of Mohd Yusof’s role by the people who are dissatisfied over the appointment.