29 October 2014

Anwar Ibrahim fights sodomy charge...

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 28/10/2014
Reporter: Samantha Hawley

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is choosing to fight a sodomy charge and five-year jail term rather than live in exile overseas and we were given access to his family home in the hours ahead of learning his fate.

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: During a recent trip to London Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was urged to stay and live in exile. Instead, he's returned home to face a possible third jail term.

During the next two days Anwar Ibrahim will fight to have a sodomy charge and a five year jail term overruled, but he's preparing for the worst.

7:30's been granted intimate access to Mr Anwar's family home as he awaits his fate.

Here's South East Asia correspondent Samantha Hawley.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY, REPORTER: At his home in the Malaysian capital, Anwar Ibrahim is preparing himself and his family for a possible return to jail.

A family reunion is under way. Some of his children have returned from overseas. No one is optimistic about what lies ahead.

ANWAR IBRAHIM, MALAYSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: There is concern, but we've gone through this, not only once, but repeatedly a number of times during the last 16 years. So I think we have got to remain strong and calm.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: This is a story of politics, power and a judiciary beating the career out of the man.

Nearly two decades ago charges of corruption and sodomy widely viewed as politically motivated sent the star of Malaysian politics to jail for six years. All of it served in solitary confinement.

He was acquitted of a second lot of sodomy charges in 2012, but earlier this year just before Mr Anwar was due to contest a crucial bi-election for a powerful chief minister's position, that acquittal was overturned with unusual speed by the Court of Appeal.

SIVARAS RASIAH, DEFENCE LAWYER: This trial from the outset has been a political trial with the aim of removing Anwar Ibrahim, if possible, from the political arena and because he is perceived as the biggest threat in this country at this point in time to the continuing dominance of the UMNO Barisan government. Our position is that this allegation by this young man Saiful is a complete fabrication. 

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Anwar Ibrahim's a accuser in this sodomy case, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, worked briefly in Anwar's office.

(Saiful Bukhari Azlan speaking to cameras)

SAIFUL BUKHARI AZLAN (subtitled translation): I swear I was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim on 26th June 2008.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Najwan Halimi was his university dorm mate from 2003 to 2008. He's one who never believed his onetime friend's version of events.

NAJWAN HALIMI, UNIVERSITY FRIEND: He associates himself with the ruling party during his university days and it's quite shocking to see him working for Anwar a few months after he dropped out from studies. I don't know, maybe to me, during that time I assumed that he was actually planted to become a spy.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: For Malaysia, and its democratic future, this is about much more than the innocence or otherwise of one man. When the five judge panel of the Federal Court decide Anwar Ibrahim's fate, the future of the political landscape will also be up for grabs.

ERIC PAULSEN, LAWYERS FOR LIBERTY: Malaysia it's no longer a young country and we must have state institutions, the police, the attorney-general's chambers, the judiciary. They must be free from political interference. They must be able to act independently and fairly, not at the behest of the ruling party.

So until we have that, then I fear for the future of Malaysia.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: From all accounts what is happening in the majority Muslim nation is deepening political, ethnic and religious divisions in a nation that's struggling to move forward.

Proof of that is the increased use of an age old sedition act, which outlaws speech which is deemed to incite unrest or insult the Muslim majority. About 40 people, including one of Anwar Ibrahim's lawyers have been charged or convicted this year.

ERIC PAULSEN: The sedition act, it's 1948, it's obviously archaic and out of place in any modern democracy.

(Samantha Hawley and Anwar Ibrahim in his library)

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: You've got many books.

ANWAR IBRAHIM: I've been 30, 40 years of collection.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: For Anwar Ibrahim a mental shift back to a prison cell is already under way and it will be reading that sustains him.

(Speaking to Anwar Ibrahim) You spoke when you were released from jail last time about how much you read while you were in there, particularly Shakespeare. How did that help you with the process, I suppose, of being confined?

ANWAR IBRAHIM: In the six years of solitary confinement I had a chance to reread with copious notes 4.5 times, the entire collected works of Shakespeare. And I think it's a phenomenal task and it's a great success and it gives me so much of, not only the intellectual, but also spiritual satisfaction.

(Ibrahim's family in the kitchen)

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Around the kitchen table the family gather to watch raw footage taken in their home by the ABC in 1999, just before Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to six years jail when his children were still young.

Anwar Ibrahim's wife, his daughters and son have never seen the vision before.

(Talking to the family) How does it feel watching that?

DAUGHTER: I think it's still very meaningful to look at those years and realise that we survived. All of us.

There were days, you know, you didn't get the footage in prison and the footage in prison were much more melodramatic. It was very meaningful. Very sad. Poor mamma.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Malaysian government led by prime minister Najib Razak says it won't be commenting on the case until after the verdict is delivered, which could be as early as tomorrow.

ANWAR IBRAHIM: Well at my age I'm going to go again the ordeal for the third time, two years and six years of solitary confinement and now of course it is not easy, I mean no one would choose to do that. 

LEIGH SALES: Samantha Hawley reporting from Kuala Lumpur. 

Lepaih diliwat Saiful boleh hidang teh lagi...

Peguambela Tan Sri Gopal Sri Ram dalam perbicaraan di Mahkamah persekutuan Putrajaya hari ini menimbulkan isu kredibiliti dan kelakukan Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan yang mendakwa dirinya diliwat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Beliau mempersoalkan kehadiran gel KY Jelly, yang dikatakan digunakan dalam kejadian berkenaan dan ditandakan sebagai bahan bukti di Mahkamah Tinggi.

Gopal berhujah, seseorang yang tidak ingin diliwat tidak akan membeli pelincir berkenaan.

Menurutnya, Saiful telah memberi keterangan bahawa mereka melakukan perbuatan itu (liwat) di atas karpet dan memakai gel itu di bahagian duburnya.

Gopal menunjukkan satu dokumen yang tiada dalam rekod rayuan, dan berkata, ‘keadaan barang kes (senarai barang yang dirampas) tidak termasuk KY Jelly itu’. Ini, katanya, menunjukkan keterangan Saiful yang tidak konsisten.

Gopal berkata KY Jelly muncul semasa pemeriksaan utama oleh pihak pendakwa ke atas Saiful. Peguambela itu berkata jika bahan pelincir merupakan satu bahan bukti yang penting, pegawai Penyiasat, DSP Jude Pereira tidak akan menyerahkannya kepada Saiful pada 28 Jun (2008), hanya untuk Saiful memberikan kembali kepada pegawai polis yang lain pada hari berikutnya.

Gopal berkata keterangan Saiful bahawa dia berada dalam kesakitan dan telah menyimpan air mani di dalam dubur selama beberapa hari turut meragukan, lapor Malaysiakini.

Semasa dalam pemeriksaan balas, katanya, Saiful mendakwa diminta oleh Anwar untuk memakai KY jelly pada duburnya. Dalam perbicaraan tertutup kemudiannya, Saiful mendakwa berada dalam kesakitan di dubur dan perut.

Menurut Gopal, kehadiran gel itu menimbulkan keraguan dan kekurangan kredibiliti terhadap Saiful. Gopal mengatakan jika gel itu telah digunakan, Saiful tidak akan mengalami kesakitan.

Beliau turut mempersoalkan pelakuan Saiful yang tidak ke tandas selama dua hari dan dilihat berada di rumah Anwar pada hari berikutnya selepas kejadian liwat dikatakan berlaku. Beliau menyerahkan gambar Saiful yang dirakamkan di rumah Anwar. 

Bagaimanapun,Ariffin berkata gambar itu tidak dikemukakan sebagai bahan bukti dan meminta Gopal berhujah sama ada gambar tersebut boleh diterima sebagai bahan bukti atau sebaliknya.= keadilandaily

Gopal Sri Ram (2nd right) is leading the 14-strong defence team in today's sodomy appeal by Anwar Ibrahim in the Federal Court in Putrajaya. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 28, 2014.
Defence mauls Saiful’s credibility...

The first day of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy appeal today saw the defence punching holes in the credibility of the complainant, Mohd Saiful Azlan Bukhari, to make the case that the opposition leader should have been acquitted without his defence being called. 

Anwar's lead counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram tried to persuade the Federal Court today of weaknesses and inconsistencies in Saiful's testimony, saying that the prosecution's entire case would collapse if the court agreed that he was a discredited witness.

Any other evidence, including medical findings, would then be rendered useless.

The High Court had accepted Saiful's evidence, and judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah had only acquitted Anwar at the close of the defence case on grounds that the court could not be "100% certain" on the integrity of samples taken from Saiful for DNA testing.

The lower court found that the exhibits could have been compromised before they were handed over to a chemist.

A three-man bench in the Court of Appeal led by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi convicted Anwar on March 7 this year, setting aside the acquittal by the High Court in early 2012.

Today, Sri Ram, a retired Federal Court judge, said both the High Court and the Court of Appeal were wrong in accepting Saiful's evidence.

"The Court of Appeal did not reevaluate the evidence of Saiful. In any event, his evidence was not corroborated," Sri Ram told the five-man Federal Court bench led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.

Sri Ram, who was roped in at the eleventh hour to replace lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah, said the trial judge had erred in accepting Saiful's explanation on why it took him two days to make a police report after the alleged sodomy.

Saiful had said that he was afraid for his safety.

Instead, Sri Ram submitted today, Saiful had met Anwar the day after the alleged crime for a discussion and a tea session.

"Seen in a photograph below, Saiful's demeanour hardly looks like a person who is under threat or someone forcefully sodomised 24 hours before," Sri Ram told the court.

Photo: Selepas mengaku kena paksa liwat dan dia dalam ketakutan sampai menggigil badan, Saiful masih buat teh di rumah Anwar selepas itu?

He also questioned why Saiful did not complain as soon as possible after the incident, or why he did not seek help if indeed he was sexually assaulted.

Sri Ram said Saiful should have been treated as an accomplice as he was an active participant if such an alleged incident did take place, but the lower court did not make such findings.

"As an accomplice, Saiful cannot corroborate himself. The trial judge failed to ask the right questions and instead wrongly treated his evidence as corroboration," he added.

He said it was Saiful who had introduced a bottle of lubricant when giving testimony during the trial, but the sex aid had never been on the prosecution's initial list of exhibits.

"The absence of the lubricant from the list casts serious doubt on the credibility of Saiful and the entire investigation," he said.

Sri Ram said Saiful told the trial court that the sexual act "was vigorous and fast" and that he suffered pain.

"If that is the case, a lubricant could not have been used because the very object of it is to facilitate penetration without pain," he said.

He said medical evidence confirmed that there was no trauma or injury found on Saiful's anus.

Anwar is accused of committing the offence at a unit of the Desa Damansara condominium in Bukit Damansara, between 3.10pm and 4.30pm, on June 26, 2008.

Anwar, 67, who was sentenced to five years' jail by the Court of Appeal, is now on RM10,000 bail in one surety.

The prosecution has also filed a cross-appeal for a higher jail sentence against Anwar which is up to 20 years.

Anwar's political career as an elected representative will be over as he will be disqualified from office, should his conviction be sustained and he is fined more than RM2,000 or jailed more than a year, and he does not receive a free pardon.

The defence team ended their submissions today with lawyer N. Surendran telling the court of evidence that emerged during the trial which showed that the sodomy charge against Anwar was a political conspiracy.

The claim of conspiracy was made by Anwar in statements from the dock, which Surendran said the High Court and Court of Appeal did not give adequate weightage to.

The defence will resume tomorrow with their submission on the relevance and weight of an accused's statement from the dock. - tmi

Only Saiful among Malaysians had the opportunity to meet with Najib at the DPM residence to discuss personal matter with Najib. Najib confirmed that the meeting took place,( two days before Saiful said that he was raped by Anwar,) to discuss Saiful's application for a government scholarship. That raises many questions.

Najib as DPM then was not concurrently the Minister of Education nor the Minister for Higher Education. Clearly he had no official responsibility to approve scholarship to any person even if that person had shown merit for a scholarship award. Saiful was not known to be a scholar, Why did Najib meet Saiful if not for reasons other than that mentioned? So it was a meeting to implement a scheme against his political opponent to whom Saiful could have the convenience to carry out. Being Anwar's assistant, Saiful could have tea with Anwar in private, and he conveniently claimed that he had participated in an act of sodomy with Anwar.

Saiful claimed that he was raped. If the prosecution believed that Saiful was raped, why did not Anwar charged for raping Saiful? Clearly the prosecution did not believe that this could happen. Najib said that Saiful had a right to justice. To seek justice, Anwar should be charged for raping Saiful. But the AG office knew that the story was unbelievable. So najib was trying to cover up his intention.

Then it was consensual sodomy; why should Anwar be charged and punished based on the law but Saiful is free? There is no law in the land, not even the "Whistle Blower Act" would allow a person committing crime to be above the law if he gave evidence against his accomplice. So Saiful is given special protection because he brought down Najib's political opponent? That is making use of the law of the land for political gain. Is Malaysia a land where the laws are to be used selectively based on political party affiliation? - loh333 

Barisan peguam Anwar


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