Let the DNA experts speak up

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Much of Anwar’s sodomy controversy seems to hinge on the question of Anwar’s DNA. The media are intent on creating the impression that Anwar is afraid to give his DNA because he is deemed to be guilty. They are playing up this view by giving wide coverage to the Prime Minister and Home Minister openly asking why Anwar is afraid to give his DNA if he has not done anything wrong.

In doing so, the media have merely reduced their credibility as impartial commentators of news and events dedicated to unearthing the truth in the interest of justice. Unfortunately, they also come across as mouth-pieces of the Barisan Nasional and nothing more.

The Prime Minister had stated that Anwar’s previous DNA taken a decade ago is too old to be used in this instance. The media then gave ample publicity to his statement. But did any of the media take a little trouble to find out whether the DNA taken in 1998 was indeed too old? Did they ask the Prime Minister who gave him this information upon which he based his argument? Was this a medical opinion? If so, who is this medical expert who ventured this opinion? These are questions that had to be asked – but did the media raise these questions? If they had, then they would have lived up to the ethical standards of honest journalism.

Aliran would like the BN government to officially seek the opinion of local and international DNA experts to ascertain whether a DNA profile remains permanent irrespective of when it was taken. Is there a time period beyond which it does not serve any useful purpose? Let us have this answer publicly.

The fear expressed by many, including Anwar, is that his new DNA can be planted to incriminate him. Let the experts state whether this is possible or not. This will allay or confirm such fears.

The other question to be addressed is, why not deposit Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s DNA with some international DNA agency to verify whether any other foreign body/DNA is present. Later – only later – should it be determined whether it matches with Anwar’s DNA. This should satisfy all parties concerned in establishing the truth.

But we should not and cannot discount or dismiss Anwar’s genuine fear that there will be manupulation by the police which he justifiably feels they are capable of. To support this claim, Anwar had “adduced further evidence on how blood was forcibly taken and then spread on the mattress, claimed that it was sperm, and when it was challenged by international experts, they finally withdrew that and amended the charge and the record was expunged” (NST, 22 July 2008).

It is a terrible indictment on the police and damning evidence to totally discredit the police. In the view of all thinking Malaysians, Anwar has every reason to fear the police.

 

P Ramakrishnan

President

22 July 2008

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