Fitnah II Anwar
- Sodomy II back in the limelight
- Hafiz Yatim | 11:32AM Jul 21, 2013 malaysiakini.com
- After a year and a half, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will return to court tomorrow for the government’s appeal against his acquittal in the much publicised Sodomy II trial.The government’s appeal will be heard at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, and it is expected that local and foreign journalists and observers will be there.
Anwar was acquitted by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in January last year, of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara condominium between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah said it was unsafeto convict Anwar as the court could not ascertain the integrity of the samples because investigating officer DSP Jude Blacious Pereira (right) had opened the plastic bag containing them.
“It was not safe for the court to rely on the DNA result obtained by chemist Dr Seah Lay Hong from the analysis conducted on those samples. That being the case, there was no evidence to corroborate the evidence of Saiful on thefactum of penetration,” he ruled.
A total of 27 prosecution witnesses and seven defence witnesses testified in the trial over a span of three and half years, including interlocutory appeals by both the defence and prosecution on several issues.
During the trial, Anwar testified from the dock which did not allow the prosecution to cross-examine him. He is believed to be the first who testified from the dock to be acquitted.
Previously, in two different murder cases namely in Canny Ong and also Altantuya Shaariibuu, Ahmad Najib Aris and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar testified from the dock but were convicted respectively.
As former solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden (right) had retired early last year, and entered into private practice, the prosecution will rely on newly-appointed trial and appeals division head of the Attorney-General’s Chambers Nordin Hassan to lead the prosecution team.
Others in the prosecuting team comprise of deputy head of prosecution division Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria and trial unit division head Noorin Badaruddin.
For Anwar, veteran lawyer and Bukit Gelugor lawmaker Karpal Singh along with former United Nations Special rapporteur Param Cumaraswamy, Sankara Nair and Ramkarpal Singh will be counsel.
The appeal is fixed for two days beginning Monday, and it was reported that the prosecution had cited nine grounds of appeal, including that there was no evidence the samples were tampered, as one of the grounds.
Lawasia and inter-parliamentary union observer Mark Trowell, who also authored ‘The trial of Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy II’ is among the expected international observers there tomorrow.
In the book he shared his observation that Saiful does not look like a normal sexual abuse victim.
After the verdict, the case again grabbed the headlines when Saiful’s father Azlan Md Lazim (left) had apologised to Anwar last March claiming that his son was used by certain people. He howeverretracted his apology two months later.
Saiful also wed TV3 personality Nik Suryani Megat Deraman two months ago in Kuala Terengganu. During the trial proper, it was also reported that Saiful had an affair with one of the prosecutors and as a result she was removed from the team.
Saiful also revealed a religious oath he made in the Holy Land of Mecca that the sodomy incident was true. Against this backdrop of the past one and half years, the appeal will be heard.