Sunday, 8 January 2012

Anwar trial one of the longest criminal cases.

Anwar’s sodomy case set many precedents, defence sought to use loopholes in law
 DATUK Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial will go into legal history as   one of the  longest criminal cases.
 There were some 60 adjournments and numerous interlocutory applications by Anwar’s defence team, which used all legal avenues and loopholes  in the law to fight the charge.
 Some of these matters also went to the Federal Court where Anwar’s case set legal precedents.
 The parliamentary opposition leader and Permatang Pauh member of parliament was initially charged in a Sessions Court and  failed to stop the case from being transferred to the High Court.
 Anwar also filed applications and appeals to get, among others, the prosecution’s witness list,  hospital examination notes and witness’ statements.
 He  attempted to cite Malay daily Utusan Malaysia for contempt of court just after the  trial began on Feb 3, 2010, but trial judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah rejected the application.  
 Anwar also tried to nullify the trial on the grounds that a female deputy public prosecutor  allegedly had an affair with his accuser, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
 He also made two applications to disqualify Zabidin on the grounds that the trial judge had acted unfairly. His two applications for this case were unprecedented.  One of the applications is still pending at the Court of Appeal.
 The prosecution called 27 witnesses and Zabidin ruled that the prosecution had made out a prima facie against Anwar.
 Zabidin said he believed Saiful to be a truthful and reliable witness.  He said Saiful had narrated in detail  the sexual intercourse, when he was under examination-in-chief. That part of the evidence was heard in camera.
 Zabidin said the testimony of three Kuala Lumpur Hospital doctors corroborated Saiful’s evidence  that there was penile penetration with the use of lubricants.
 The court also accepted the evidence of chemists Dr Seah Lay Hong and Nor Aidora Saedon, who established that the DNA profile of  semen found in the anus of Saiful matched that of Anwar’s (Male Y).
 When his defence was called, Anwar exercised his option to give a statement from the dock which took him about two hours.
 The judge will now have to decide how much weight is to be given to Anwar’s statement.
 Anwar denied having a sexual relationship with Saiful, adding that the allegation against him was a  “political conspiracy”.
 The prosecution, led by Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, described Anwar’s lengthy statement as a “bare denial”.  
 Yusof said Anwar did not deny he was at the crime scene at the time of the incident and this amounted to an admission of fact.
 He said the defence, at no time, made any attempt to explain the presence of Anwar’s semen in Saiful’s rectum.
 The defence, however, contended that  evidence from former Hospital Pusrawi medical officer Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid
had dented the  credibility  of Saiful who  had told the doctor that plastic was inserted into his (Saiful) anus.
 Anwar was charged with sodomising Saiful, his former aide, at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.
 If found guilty, Anwar could be sentenced up to 20 years’ jail.
 The conviction would effectively spell the end of his political career as Article 48 of the Federal Constitution states that a one-year jail term or a fine of RM2,000 will cause an elected representative to lose his seat.

posted from Bloggeroid

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