Malaysia-Press Release | Malaysian Bar Expresses its Condolences on the Untimely Demise of Anthony Kevin Morais, and Calls for a Full Investigation

Press Release | Malaysian Bar Expresses its Condolences on the Untimely Demise of Anthony Kevin Morais, and Calls for a Full Investigation






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Press Release
Malaysian Bar Expresses its Condolences on the Untimely Demise of Anthony Kevin Morais, and Calls for a Full Investigation
The Malaysian Bar is shocked and saddened by the untimely death of the Deputy Head of the Appellate and Trial Division of the Attorney General's Chambers ("AGC") and senior deputy public prosecutor, Anthony Kevin Morais.  The Malaysian Bar extends its deepest condolences to his loved ones and his colleagues at the AGC, and at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, where he had been seconded (until recently) for almost ten years.


Kevin Morais was an experienced deputy public prosecutor, and was well respected by Members of the Malaysian Bar, his colleagues and the Judiciary.  As stated in the AGC's press release issued on 16 September 2015, Kevin Morais "truly epitomized the adage 'prosecuting without fear and favour' throughout his long, illustrious career".[1]  His untimely demise is a great loss to our legal profession.


The Malaysian Bar expresses serious concern over the circumstances surrounding the death of Kevin Morais, which the police believe is connected to his role as the deputy public prosecutor in a corruption case.  His abduction and subsequent murder were despicable and cowardly acts, and were an attack on the independence of the legal profession.  All members of the legal profession  — whether from the Malaysian Bar or the AGC — are called upon to uphold the rule of law, and perform their professional functions, without fear or favour.  Any threat or act of intimidation towards any member of the legal profession is an act of interference with, and subversion of, the administration of justice.

Recognising the crucial and essential role played by all lawyers in the administration of justice, Articles 16 and 17 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in 1990 state:

16. Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; …

17. Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.
The Malaysian Bar supports the AGC's call to the police to investigate the matter "thoroughly to enable the perpetrators to be identified, found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law".  The Malaysian Bar stands ready to assist and work with the police and the AGC in upholding and enforcing the rule of law in this matter.  The tragedy that befell Kevin Morais must never recur, and certainly not to any member of the legal profession in the course or discharge of their professional duties.
Steven Thiru
President
Malaysian Bar
17 September 2015
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[1] Press release entitled "Investigation Relating To The Abduction And Murder Of DPP Anthony Kevin Morais", issued by the Attorney General's Chambers on 16 September 2015.



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