PETALING JAYA: Lawyer N Surendran says Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed’s criticism of an American lawyer on the issue of having access to her client Anwar Ibrahim, was “unbecoming and baseless”.
The PKR vice-president was referring to Nur Jazlan having called Anwar’s international attorney Kimberley Motley “rude and arrogant” and having no right to “criticise Malaysian laws and prison rules”.
“Nur Jazlan’s criticism is intemperate, baseless and totally unbecoming of a deputy minister of the government.
“Motley had made a valid complaint that she had been denied access to Anwar in her capacity as his international legal adviser,” Surendran said, citing rule 101 of the Prisons Regulations 2000, which states that Anwar is entitled to access to his legal counsel.
He added that as such, the denial of access to Motley was in breach of prison rules.
“Her complaint was cogent and well-founded.”
Yesterday, Nur Jazlan slammed Motley for questioning the country’s prison regulation.
“She is rude and arrogant,” Nur Jazlan told FMT, adding: “What locus standi does she have to criticise Malaysian laws and prison rules?”
Surendran, who is Padang Serai MP, said Motley was not criticising Malaysian laws and prison rules as alleged by Nur Jazlan.
“She was only asking why those rules had been breached in relation to Anwar,” he said, referring to the former opposition leader, who is serving a five-year jail term for sodomy at the Sungei Buloh prison.
“However, instead of answering this valid complaint, Nur Jazlan chose to publicly berate Motley.”
Surendran added that the denial of access breaches Principle 18 of the UN’s “Body of Principles For the Protection of all Persons under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment”, which provides that an imprisoned person “shall be entitled to communication and consult his legal counsel”.
He then called for Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also home minister, to intervene.
“Zahid must publicly explain and provide justification for the denial of the fundamental right of access to counsel for Anwar,” said Surendran, who is also the defacto PKR leader’s lawyer.