KUALA LUMPUR – Dec 2, 2015: It has been a week since the controversial statutory declaration (SD) of Charles Morais was made public, yet his lawyer Americk Siddhu still faces criticism for his handling of the matter.
Charles who is the younger brother of murdered deputy public prosecutor Datuk Kevin Morais had delivered a sworn document (SD) on Nov 25 to a press conference, here.
The SD which was also made available in the public domain contains extended explanation, alleging that Kevin was involved in an investigation on contentious matters.
Charles had also claimed that he had a pen drive containing information connected to Kevin’s death, which concerned “certain influential people in the country”.
Charles’s action had since been criticised by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who said that Charles should have opt to hand over any evidence he possessed.
The country’s top cop had also described Charles as a “coward” for fleeing the country after making “allegations about the death” of his brother, and criticised Americk by exclaiming that he has “bad reputation when it came to SDs”.
Khalid had also demanded for Americk to explain the contents of Charles’s statements and produces them for examinations..
Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru however expressed shocked over Khalid’s comments.
Thiru said Khalid should focus on investigating the SD, while recognising and respecting the rights and obligations of lawyers.
It was reported that Americk has finally been questioned by the police over the matter.
Americk, nevertheless, continues to be criticised over his responsibility as a legal representative, in regards to his client’s statements.
Blogger Gopal Raj Kumar in a posting wrote a full-scale legal analysis criticising what he described as Americk’s misdemeanour and failure to preserve “lawyer-client privilege”.
The blogger who specialised on legal matter stressed that Americk had failed to preserve that privilege now that the SD of his client is available for public viewing.
“Lawyers are by their training required to take certain precautions when accepting instructions and interacting with their clients.
“In the course of that interaction they must determine how much risk they are prepared to assume especially when drafting unconfirmed instructions (statements) of their client, as Americk appears to have done in Charles’s SD,” he wrote.
The blogger added that the SD contains “serious, highly selective and damaging material against individuals without any reference to evidence supporting the statements”.
“Amrick has become a lightning rod for many unfounded allegations. This is largely because of Amrick’s history of being rather cavalier in his approach to matters, legal (and political).
“He has in the past made several public statements or a supported statement by others alluding to what he asserts is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and his wife in the offence of murder.
“He has also further implicated himself, not once, when he advanced the proposition through popular media platforms, that these influential individuals are guilty for murder, without the minimum legal standard of proof to support his assertions,” he wrote.
The blogger had also emphasised that the document contained statements “implicating the late Kevin in criminal conduct”, which could tarnish his reputation as a deputy public prosecutor.
“The SD contains allegations of serious criminal misconduct by not only the alleged murderers of Kevin. They also impute serious criminal misconduct and breaches of professional conduct on him,” he wrote.
The blogger then commented that Americk had implicated himself previously by bringing into existence a document which made similar unproven serious allegations of a criminal nature.
He further wrote that such document “is not something anyone can claim privilege over or ignore in the IGP’s position”.
Americk is also urged to answer to any inquiry by the police over the insulting and criminally defamatory allegations, purportedly made by his client.
The blogger continued to question Americk’s conducts as a court officer once the information of Kevin’s alleged misconduct came to his knowledge.
“Was Americk negligent or reckless in the execution of his professional obligations to Charles by failing to advise him or to point out the possible implications of what he was alluding to about his brother the late brother?
“A lawyer who ought to know better is more liable and ought to have acted more responsibly and with greater care in this regard,” he wrote.