KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Feb 2009: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants newly-appointed Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, who led the prosecution team in his sodomy case, to disqualify himself from the proceedings.
Anwar’s lead counsel, Sulaiman Abdullah, made the application at the High Court today on the grounds that Mohamed Yusof, as an officer representing the Attorney-General’s Chambers at that time, was involved in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the “black eye” incident which occurred when Anwar was in police custody in 1998.
Sulaiman told the court that he was instructed by his client this morning to make the application to disqualify Mohamed Yusof.
Mohamed Yusof, who was then head of the prosecution unit in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said that he needed to put in his written submission on Anwar’s application together with his affidavit in support.
Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah fixed three days starting 25 Feb to hear submissions on the application as well as on the revision.
Sulaiman also told the court that Anwar, who is the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor, was unable to be present today as he had urgent matters to attend to in Perak.
At the last hearing, Mohamad Zabidin had allowed Sulaiman’s application for Anwar to be excused from attending the revision hearing.
Anwar, 62, is charged with sodomising his former aide, 23-year-old Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on 26 June.
If convicted, he faces imprisonment of up to 20 years under Section 377B of the Penal Code. He is now free on a personal bond of RM20,000.
Today, the court was scheduled to hear the prosecution’s application for a revision to quash the Sessions Court’s decision to retain Anwar’s sodomy trial in the Sessions Court.
The prosecution filed for a revision as well as an appeal against the decision on the grounds that the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, was only carrying out an administrative function and not a judicial or quasi-judicial function when he signed the transfer certificate.
On 7 Nov 2008, Sessions Court judge SM Komathy Suppiah dismissed the prosecution’s application to transfer the case to the High Court after ruling that the transfer certificate, signed by Abdul Gani, was invalid.
The defence had challenged the validity of the transfer certificate because Abdul Gani was still under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency following a police report lodged by Anwar on alleged falsification of evidence pertaining to the “black eye” incident. — Bernama