Friday, November 20, 2009

Opposition Leader Jufrie Mahmood Acquitted of 2 Wrongful Charges Today

Mr. Jufrie Mahmood was the candidate of the famous Eunos GRC battle of GE 1997 in which I was one of his election campaign agents. He is one of the 19 Tak Boleh Tahan protest case defendants today in court 24's trial which already went on for more than a year. He is also one of the many fighters who is simultaneously fighting multiple cases in the court these while, like myself. I have more than a dozen cases including appeals from 2006 until now, and my cases fixed for hearing at present already lined up until Feb 2010.

Today is another celebration in court.

While the TBT case was stood down in court 24, some of us went to court 19 (one of our very familiar court rooms) for Mr. Jufrie's verdict. This is a labor & immigration case, he was represented by opposition lawyer Mr. Chia Ti Lik who is also one of the TBT defendant.

The judge in Court 19 is none other than District Judge Toh Yong Chong who is still hearing our on going WB/IMF Speakers Cornered case. You can see that the court is now a closely knitted community with the opposition fighters already. :-) Every one knows every one, including LEEgime's mata and prosecutors.

As I heard the verdict being read out, the prosecution's case is fulling depending on a single witness who is the iLEEgal immigrant Bangladeshi worker himself, who had been sentenced; imprisoned and then deported. However he alleged that Mr. Jufrie's construction company employed him to work at a very formal project work-site not involving famiLEE LEEgime, and let him worked and stay at that site for a period of 6 months before he was arrested by LEEgime's MOM agents.

He called Mr. Jufrie as BOSS and alleged that Mr. Jufrie paid him in cash. But Mr. Juffrie told me that his company only employ LEEgal foreign workers via some agencies and all salaries are paid via agencies in crossed cheques, so their company NEVER had any cash payroll system at all. The iLEEgal Alien also claimed that he had worked during certain months during which his job was to carry things upstairs in the building under construction. But it was proven that the building was not even up yet during that month and had only nothing but foundations on the ground. So that evidence is clearly falsified.

The passport of the iLEEgal Alien was found in the workers quarters inside a simple plastic bag. But there was no sleeping mattress there belonging to him, nor there was any clothes; shoes; luggages; towels or personal items of his found at the site. So judge Toh also won't buy his testimony that he had been really living and working there for 6 month. However even when judge was not not convinced by the prosecution's case, he still asked a defense be entered instead of dismissing the charge.

Mr. Juffrie said this iLEEgal Alien could had made friends with some of his LEEgally employed Bangladeshi workers, and sneak into the quarters when the care taker (guard) was not paying attention at night, to stay there without permission of the company management. I said in that case it could be the gay lovers in the quarters had helped to safe keep passport and told him some incomplete information about the site. He lied in court and at investigation in my opinion because he intentionally did not want to reveal the actual person who employ or harbor him iLEEgally, he could be returning a favor by doing this, or protecting someone else. But his is incriminating Mr. Jufrie and could cause him to be convicted, jailed, fined and disqualified from taking part in the next GE.

I think Mr. Chia Ti Lik did a good job of defending Mr. Jufrie. We are all very happy for them.

As they returned to court 24 from court 19, there as a big applaud this afternoon.

TBT hearing is now at prosecution witness number 5, there is another 22 prosecution witnesses to go. The hearing adjourned this afternoon before 4pm, as I applied to continue my cross examination of PW5 on 24.Nov.2009 next week.

If Mr. Jufrie was convicted today and sentenced fined above S$2000, he will be automatically disqualified as an electoral candidate for period of 5 years from today. Several opposition fighters are disqualified this way including myself.

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