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Anwar’s sodomy appeal postponed to tomorrow

PUTRAJAYA, 29 June 2009: Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against the High Court’s order that his sodomy case be tried at the High Court was postponed to tomorrow to enable him to attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

The Court of Appeal, comprising justices Datuk Abdul Hamid Embong, Datuk Abu Samah Nordin and Datuk Jeffery Tan Kok Wha, fixed the date after granting Anwar’s lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah’s request for postponement.

Sulaiman said Anwar had to attend the Dewan Rakyat to enable him to take part in the debate on the Judges Code of Ethics, which is expected to be tabled today.

The prosecution team, led by Solicitor-General II Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden, had no objections to the adjournment to enable both parties to file written submissions and certain documents to the court.

The court was scheduled to hear Anwar’s appeal today.

Anwar, who was present in court, is appealing against the High Court decision on 5 March which reversed the Sessions Court’s decision to retain his sodomy trial at the Sessions Court.

Anwar had challenged the validity of the certificate signed by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to transfer the case to the High Court, claiming that Abdul Gani could not sign the document because he was still under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency, now called the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), in connection with Anwar’s police report on the “black eye” incident.

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 last year. On 18 June, a medical report by Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) has found no evidence of anal penetration of Saiful, raising doubts about the credibility of his charge against Anwar.

The case is fixed for trial on 8 July before Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah. — Bernama

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