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Anwar’s trial: Prosecution gets stay over documents

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 July 2009: The prosecution today succeeded in getting a stay of execution of a High Court order to supply the documents sought by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his sodomy trial, pending the disposal of its appeal at the Court of Appeal.

High Court Judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, in granting the stay, said that if the prosecution succeeded in its appeal, the High Court order would become academic.

On 16 July 2009, Justice Mohamad Zabidin had allowed Anwar’s application and ordered the prosecution to supply the documents concerned within seven days to the defence. The seven-day period expired yesterday, but on 22 July, the prosecution obtained an interim stay until today.

Earlier, Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden submitted that the court should grant the prosecution’s application for a stay pending its appeal as the order would become invalid if the Court of Appeal was in favour of the prosecution.

Mohamed Yusof, who is leading the prosecution team, said that if the court refused to grant the application, it meant that the prosecution had to give the documents to the defence.

“If that is so, if the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court’s decision, it would become meaningless as the documents have already been supplied to the defence,” he said.

One of Anwar’s counsel, Amer Hamzah Arshad, replied that the prosecution, in its affidavit in support, should have specified the special circumstances why it should not give the documents and the evidence to the defence.

“The prosecution should also specify whether the production of the documents could be prejudicial or cost damages to the prosecution. There must be factual evidence to support the application. But it was not stated in the affidavit,” he said.

At this juncture, Mohamad Zabidin said that that was not the point and asked Amer Hamzah what if the Court of Appeal disagreed with his decision.

Amer Hamzah answered that the Court of Appeal would have to explain why it granted the prosecution’s application according to the facts and that it could not simply allow the application.

The High Court today also fixed 2 Sept for re-mention of Anwar’s application to set aside the sodomy charge against him and re-mention of the sodomy case.

“I think one month is sufficient for the court to fix the case for mention pending the prosecution’s appeal at the Court of Appeal,” said Mohamad Diah.

Anwar, 62, is charged with sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara here on 26 June 2008. — Bernama

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