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Review on court hearing Anwar’s case in Feb 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 Nov 2008: The prosecution’s application for a revision to quash the Sessions Court’s decision to retain Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial in the Sessions Court will be heard on 5 and 6 Feb 2009.

High Court judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah fixed the date today after allowing lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah’s application for adjournment because he had another matter in the Commercial High Court.

Anwar has been exempted from attending the hearing.

Justice Mohamad Zabidin informed the parties that the hearing date for today was fixed without consulting the defence team.

Senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden then asked for an early hearing date but the judge said the court was only free in 2009 because it had other cases to dispose of.

To expedite the hearing, Mohamed Yusof suggested that the prosecution submit written submissions to the court and the defence team a week before the hearing date.

Sulaiman replied that the defence were facing difficulties because the prosecution had filed for a revision as well as appealed against the Sessions Court’s decision.

Mohamad Zabidin said the court would hear the revision first and the hearing of the appeal would depend on the outcome of the revision.

Anwar, 61, 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 2008.

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.

On 7 Nov, 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 Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, was invalid.

The defence had challenged the validity of 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 while Anwar was in police custody in 1998.

The prosecution filed for a revision as well as an appeal against the decision on the grounds that Abdul Gani was only carrying out an administrative function and not a judicial or quasi judicial function when he signed the certificate. — Bernama


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