AG’s statement on sex video leads to more questions, says lawyer

Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla (left) says Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ statement on the gay sex video issue is not conclusive.

PETALING JAYA: A lawyer says Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ statement on the gay sex video issue is not conclusive and has given rise to more questions.

Haniff Khatri Abdulla said when an attorney-general makes a statement on a decision, it should resolve issues related to the case.

On Thursday, Thomas said he would not press charges over the video as it was not possible to identify the persons involved through facial recognition software because of the poor resolution.

Haniff told FMT that when the video first surfaced, former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Aziz admitted to taking part in it and accused PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali of being the other person.

“If the AG is not going to charge any party because they could not be identified, did he decide what he will do in relation to Haziq’s admission?” he asked.

He said Haziq could be charged with criminal defamation, and if he was part of a criminal conspiracy to defame, that was also a crime.

“Carnal intercourse is also an offence, even if it is consensual, so Haziq at the very least should be charged,” he said.

Haniff said the same applied to those who distributed the video, adding they could either be charged with conspiracy or distribution of pornography.

Yesterday, former prime minister Najib Razak said three events should have taken place after Thomas decided against charging anyone in relation to the video, including that Azmin should sue Haziq for defamation.

Najib said Haziq should be prosecuted for allegedly making a false police report, as should those who had distributed the video to the mass media.

Commenting on Najib’s remarks, criminal lawyer N Sivananthan said Azmin did not have to file a defamation suit against Haziq as it was up to him if he wanted to take civil action.

He also said Thomas’ decision based on lack of evidence did not mean Haziq had made a false police report.

“Anyone can make a police report but it is up to the prosecution to decide on charging a suspect,” he said.

As for the distribution of the sex video, Sivananthan believed that if Thomas had enough evidence to sustain a conviction, he would prosecute those involved.

“If he doesn’t, it could be due to lack of evidence. It must be remembered that public perception of evidence and evidence according to the law are two different things.

“The evidence threshold for convicting someone is very high. The AG must decide if he has sufficient evidence according to the law,” he added.