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Monday, February 23, 2009

RPK: Court reserves judgment

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Some of you may already know this, so Walski won't call it Late Breaking News, per se.

Image hosting by PhotobucketFound out initially from The People's Parliament, which also provides a blow-by-blow account of this morning's proceedings. That, however, was interrupted by the discovery by Haris that none of the power points at the bar table were functioning, and his notebook battery was running low.

Did someone say "World Class"?

Today's hearing was to hear an application by Raja Petra Kamaruddin to review the decision to dismiss RPK's earlier application on Judge S. Augustine Paul's recusal last week. The decision was made by a two-member panel (Judge Augustine Paul having excused himself).

In any case, today's 3-member Federal Court panel, consisting of Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff (Court of Appeal President), Justice Ariffin Zakaria (Chief Judge of Malaya), and Justice Richard Malanjum (Chief Judge of Sabah/Sarawak), decided to reserve their judgement, and in addition, did not set a date to deliver the panel's decision. (via Malaysiakini, subscription required).

The net result of all this is that RPK, as of right now, remains a free man.
(some gory judicial technical details, and more, in the full post)

Essentially, the defense's argument was that it would be unconstitutional for the remaining two-judge panel to dismiss RPK's recusal application, contravening section 74(1) of the Courts of Judicature Act (CJA).

Since no judgement was given today, the habeas corpus appeal currently ongoing (which is the hearing that produced the recusal application last week), could also not proceed. The latest update of Haris' blow-by-blow report, from this morning, says it best (emphasis by myAsylum).

11.18am : Still at the Bar Room.

Malik Imtiaz has just been informed by the Registrar of the Federal court that the three judges have indicated that they will be reserving their judgment, to be delivered on another date to be fixed later. They have said that they will write up their judgments.

That means no decision today on the motions to review the dismissal of RPK’s 4 motions last week, including the dismissal of the motion to recuse Augustine Paul.

Have also been informed that the hearing of the appeal proper in court room 2 will also not proceed.

RPK will continue to remain free.
(source: The People's Parliament)

Exactly a week ago, RPK had posted on Malaysia Today, what he indicated could possibly be his "last message to Malaysians". The next day, February 17 was feared to be his last day as a free person, after which he would be hauled back to Kamunting, at the pleasure of the Home Minister - Walski leaves it to you to make your own mental image of that last bit.

In any case, what was disturbing about the supposed last post was the man's willingness to die, rather than speak another word, or eat any of the food served, if he should once again be force to check into the Hotel ISA. Haris describes this as "a man laying down his life for his friends". Walski would add: "and for his country".

Martyrdom, in other words.

There are many definitions for what a martyr is - either from the purely linguistic, or from a more metaphysical or religious sense. But in all likelihood, those definitions probably don't really matter much.

In the current context, Walski defines a "martyr" as someone who's more dangerous dead, then while still alive.

And he suspects that somewhere in the dark corridors of power, someone thought that this was an apt definition as well.

In any case, again, Walski's merely thinking out loud, and what he says probably don't amount to squat.

The real reason why he posted this is to say that Walski's glad the decision today has been reserved, and that Raja Petra Kamaruddin continues to be a free man. For now, at least.

Walski's picture composition source material footnote: The pictures from which Walski composited the image above came from here (RPK's picture) and here (the Palace of "Justice"). Just so you know. Probably won't help you sleep better at night knowing, but just so you know...