KUALA LUMPUR: Any person who has given a false statement in proceedings cannot be forgiven for the conduct, a High Court has ruled.
Justice Zaleha Yusof said this in a written judgment allowing an objection by the Bar Council which called for the refusal of a petition by Supt Jude Blacious Pereira (pic), the retired investigating officer in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case, to be a lawyer.
The judge said the conduct of Pereira, also known as Jude, with regard to the arrest and detention of five KL Legal Aid Centre lawyers in 2009 showed that he was not of good character.
“If with Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia), a statutory body established by Parliament, the petitioner could be dishonest, how (will he deal) with the public who will be his clients later?” she said.
She noted that Jude had never challenged the findings of Suhakam against him.
“The petitioner is found to be dishonest when he did not tell the truth while giving his sworn evidence before Suhakam when he as a police officer should respect the sovereignty of the law,” Justice Zaleha said.
She said that Jude was not qualified under the Legal Profession Act 1976 to be admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya.
Justice Zaleha held that the Bar Council has the interest to ensure a high level of professionalism among legal practitioners.
When contacted yesterday, council lawyer Pavendeep Singh said the Court of Appeal has set Sept 3 to hear an appeal by Jude against the decision.
The Suhakam inquiry panel, with regard to the arrest of the five lawyers at the Brickfields police station on May 7, 2009, had found that “Jude either consciously was not telling the truth or suffered from a serious bout of loss of memory”.
Suhakam on April 23, 2010, held that the arrest and detention of the five lawyers when they assisted their clients involved in an illegal assembly in 2009 was a clear violation of human rights.
The lawyers were not present at the scene to participate in the cause of their clients, but were simply performing their duties as legal practitioners in defence of the 14 people arrested, Suhakam said in a 42-page decision read out by its then chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Justice Zaleha said that Suhakam had found Jude had committed “clear transgression and violation of human rights and acted mala fide (in bad faith) when denying the five lawyers access to their counsel.
“To give a false statement is a serious matter and cannot be forgiven.
“The violation of human rights, in addition to the mala fide conduct, should not be a characteristic of an advocate and solicitor,” she added.
Jude filed his petition for admission to be a lawyer on July 23, 2012, but it was dismissed on Jan 15.