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Court rejects Anwar’s objection in sodomy case

PUTRAJAYA, 23 Oct 2009: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today failed to prevent the Court of Appeal from hearing the prosecution’s appeal against the High Court’s order for the prosecution to supply documents to him.

This follows the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of Anwar’s preliminary objection to strike out the prosecution’s appeal.

Justice Datuk Hasan Lah, who led the panel comprising Justices Datuk Wira Abu Samah Nordin and Datuk Sulaiman Daud, unanimously dismissed Anwar’s objection.

The court also rejected Anwar’s application, through his counsel Karpal Singh, for a stay of the appeal proceedings, pending his appeal against today’s decision at the Federal Court.

Karpal is the new counsel in Anwar’s defence team in his second sodomy case, replacing prominent lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah, who excused himself on 15 July 2009 due to health reasons.

Today, the court was scheduled to hear the prosecution’s appeal and Anwar’s cross-appeal against the same High Court which rejected his application to get a sample of the specimen taken from the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

After the decision, Karpal informed the media that he would file an appeal against the court’s decision at the Federal Court on Monday.

On 16 July 2009, High Court judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah granted the opposition leader’s application to compel the prosecution to supply him with the recorded witness statements of Mohd Saiful, Dr Osman Abdul Hamid from Pusrawi, condominium owner Hassanuddin Abdul Hamid, the statements of three other witnesses, and other documents.

However, Anwar failed to get Mohamad Saiful’s specimen sample after the High Court rejected his application.

The court, on 24 July, granted the prosecution’s stay of execution of the order, pending the disposal of its appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Anwar, 62, is charged with sodomising Mohd Saiful, 24, his former aide, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, on 26 June 2008.

Karpal, in his submissions, said that the court had no jurisdiction to hear both the appeals (the prosecution’s appeal and Anwar’s cross-appeal) as it was not final and therefore, it was not appealable.

Karpal said, after the amendment of Section 51 of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) on 31 July 1998, the ruling made by the court in any application was not final but the final ruling would come after the trial’s final disposal.

Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, who led the prosecution team, submitted that the High Court order was final in the context of documents application.

Mohamed Yusof, in the prosecution’s appeal, submitted that the High Court judge was wrong in his decision when he said Anwar had the right to know everything, prior to his sodomy trial.

He said Section 51 of the CPC did not allow Anwar access to the evidence in the prosecution’s possession until the trial.

“Section 51 refers to the documents which the applicant (Anwar) already knows of, not for the purpose of a fishing trip,” he said.

The hearing continues on 30 Oct. — Bernama

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