The Kuala Lumpur High Court has fixed Aug 8 to Aug 26 for the hearing of Anwar Ibrahim's defence.The date was fixed by Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah after meeting Anwar's lawyers and the prosecution twice in chambers this morning.
Almost two months ago, Zabidin ruled that a prima facie case had been established by the prosecution against the Opposition leader.
Anwar, 64, is charged with having sodomised a former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, then-22 years old, at the Desa Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008. If found guilty under section 377B of the Penal Code, Anwar could face a jail term of not less than five years and a maximum of 20 years.
Setting aside assertions that Saiful's testimony was riddled with inconsistencies, Justice Mohd Zabidin in ordering that Anwar's defence be called, ruled the former was a “credible” and “truthful” witness whose testimony was corroborated by the evidence of expert witnesses - including doctors and chemists.
Anwar wearing a neck brace following an injury incurred at the Bersih 2.0 rally on Saturday, will be the first to take the stand when the trial resumes on Aug 8.
Last Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected Anwar's appeal to recuse Zabidin as well as his application for a stay of proceedings. There are no dates fixed as to the status of Anwar's appeal to recuse Zabidin from hearing the trial and ordering a re-trial at the Federal Court.
Since the Court of Appeal did not grant a stay of proceedings, Zabidin had resumed to fix the continuation of the hearing dates today, Anwar's counsel Sankara Nair explained to reporters this morning. Other lawyers representing Anwar, who is also Permatang Pauh MP, were Karpal Singh and Param Cumaraswamy.
Only 5 witnesses interviewed
Sankara also told reporters outside court that former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan has indicated he does not want to be interviewed by the defence.
"However, what is important is that the witnesses whom we want be (sic) produced in court.
"This is what we had agreed upon and done in the past with the Sodomy I (trial) and the corruption (abuse of power) allegation (in 1998)," said Sankara.
Sankara said the defence will submit a formal application to Justice Zabidin for the request to be complied with.
Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, who are among the 71 persons named in the witness list, have yet to be interviewed.
So far, the defence has interviewed five witnesses, including Mumtaz Jaafar - a close associate of Rosmah - and Dr Muhamad Osman Abdul Hamid of Hospital Pusrawi, who was the first to examine Saiful.
Sodomi 2- ditetapkan 8 - 26 Ogos ini