Sodomy II – The prosecution now has 10 days to file an appeal against the acquittal
According to FMT – Anwar’s lead counsel in the case Karpal Singh confirmed that his firm received copy of the 80-page ruling of the sodomy trial yesterday afternoon.
“The prosecution now has 10 days to file an appeal against the acquittal. The Attorney-General’s office would study the grounds of judgment before deciding to file an appeal petition.
“If they do not file anything, then that’s the end of the matter,” Karpal told FMT when contacted.
Asked on the gist of the judgment, the senior lawyer said the ruling cited lack of collaborative evidence on the exhibits to link Anwar to the offence.
Justice Zabidin Mohamad Diah, in the judgment, had said that after going through the defence evidence, the court could not be 100% certain if the samples taken from the complainant had not been compromised before they reached the Chemistry Department.
“As such, it was not safe to rely on the DNA result obtained by the chemist from the analysis conducted on the samples. That being the case, there was no evidence to corroborate the evidence of the complainant on the factum of penetration.
“This court was left with evidence of the complainant to prove penetration. This being a sexual offense it is trite law that the court is always reluctant to convict an accused person based solely on uncorroborated evidence of the complainant.
“Therefore the accused is acquitted and discharged from the charge,” the High Court judge wrote in his judgement.
On Jan 9, Zabidin in acquitting Anwar said DNA evidence submitted by the prosecution was unreliable.
The 64-year-old PKR adviser was charged on Aug 7, 2008 with sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 26, in what has been described as one of Malaysia’s longest criminal trials.
He allegedly committed the offence at the Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
The offence of carnal intercourse against the order of nature under Section 377B of the Penal Code carries up to 20 years’ imprisonment and whipping on conviction.
This was the second sodomy charge against Anwar.
In the 1998 Sodomy I case, Anwar was charged together with his adopted brother, Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja, with sodomising his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s driver Azizan Abu Bakar, and was sentenced to nine years in jail by the High Court which found him guilty in 2000.
However, Anwar was freed on Sept 5, 2004 after the Federal Court, in a 2-1 majority decision, set aside the sodomy conviction and jail term. The court also overturned the conviction and six-year jail sentence of Sukma. -FMT