Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bar concerned over police harassment

Bar concerned over police harassment

PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council is alarmed that the police continue to harass and intimidate lawyers by calling them in for questioning on matters relating to the execution of their professional duties.

President Ragunath Kesavan said recently, lawyer Chan Kok Keong was served a Section 111 notice that was silent on the subject he would be questioned bout. At the interview, he was asked regarding an affi davit that had been affi rmed by his client, former Perak assembly speaker V. Sivakumar, in a suit where Chan is representing the said client.

Lawyers representing Chan in this matter were themselves informed that they would be required to give statements if they wished to accompany Chan at the interview.

“Such questioning makes a complete mockery of the fundamental principle of solicitor-client confi dentiality by which lawyers are bound,” he said.

“It shows a grave lack of respect for the criminal justice system, as the solicitor-client privilege lies at the core of this system. This harassment must stop if we are indeed committed to the principle of access to justice and to the Rule of Law,” said Ragunath, adding that it is internationally recognised that lawyers perform a vital function when they act for their clients in the pursuit of justice, and that they must be permitted to carry out these functions freely.

He urged police to immediately stop such unwarranted action.

seals: Hmmm this means the clients cannot tell everything to their lawyers as the Prosecution can use the police to get all the information and use it against you.

Then what is the purpose of court for? Or is it a crime to be defense lawyers?

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