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Dr Munawar fails in bid to remit appeal to High Court

PUTRAJAYA, 30 Oct 2008: Dr Munawar Anees today failed in his bid to remit the appeal relating to a sodomy charge to the High Court, after the Federal Court here dismissed his application.

Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi who sat with Federal Court Judges Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin unanimously dismissed Munawar’s application to remit his appeal to the High Court for arguments on merit.

Justice Zaki said the grounds for the dismissal would be given later in a written judgement.

Munawar, 60, who was Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s former speechwriter, was present in court.

With the decision, the conviction against Munawar, who had served six months in prison in 1998 after he pleaded guilty to allowing Anwar to sodomise him, is affirmed.

Munawar had served his sentence but filed the appeal in a bid to clear his name.

On 28 Oct, Munawar’s counsel, Manjit Singh Dhillon, asked the Federal Court to review the Court of Appeal’s decision on the High Court’s dismissal of Munawar’s appeal against the conviction and sentence, and to remit the appeal to the High Court to allow him to argue on its merits.

High Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Maarop had on 9 Sept 2003 struck out Munawar’s appeal without hearing the merits of the case, on grounds that Munawar had failed to appear at any of the appeal proceedings.

The Court of Appeal had also dismissed Munawar’s appeal against the High Court decision without giving any grounds.

He filed for the review to the Federal Court under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995. The rule provides the Federal Court with the inherent powers to hear any application or to make any orders as may be necessary to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the process of the Court.

Normally, when a case originates at the subordinate courts, the final appeal is at the Court of Appeal. — Bernama


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