Ex-Malaysian Deputy PM fails to drop sodomy charge

17:16, August 16, 2010      

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Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim failed in his bid to strike out the sodomy charge against him at the Kuala Lumpur High Court here on Monday.

Anwar made this second attempt to drop the charge on Aug. 2 on the grounds of an alleged affair between Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Farah Azlina Latif and key witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari.

The court ruled that Anwar's application to strike out the charge was dismissed as the issue of the accused not getting a fair trial did not exist.

Judge Mohmad Zabidin Mohd Diah said that after going through the application and affidavits, Farah Azlina was found to have no access to documents as stated in the affidavit of Investigating Officer Judge and another DPP.

"Therefore, she (Farah) did not ascertain the direction of the prosecution," said the judge.

The sodomy trial against Anwar will continue, and according to the Malaysian law, Anwar can be sentenced to jail for 20 years once convicted.

Anwar first filed an application to have the charge against him dropped when a medical report revealed that the anus of Saiful, also the case's complainant, was not penetrated.

Saiful, Anwar's former political aide, alleged Anwar of sodomizing him on June 26, 2008, in a condominium unit, resulting in Anwar being charged over the allegation in the same month.

After Anwar's counsel had failed to request for the court proceedings to stay, the Kuala Lumpur High Court began to hear the trial on February 3, 2010, almost 18 months Anwar was charged.

This was also the second time Anwar was charged over the same allegation after the first time in 1998 that resulted in him being convicted and sentenced to jail for nine years.

In the court, Anwar rebutted that the allegation was malicious in intent and pleaded not guilty to the accusation.

He also filed suits against Saiful for lodging false report and defaming him.

The court proceedings of the case has been slow since its commencement when Anwar's counsel filed several applications that has directly delayed the hearing.

Earlier, there were disputes on which court is appropriate to handle Anwar's case. While Anwar's counsel insisted that a sessions court would do, the Malaysian court finally ruled that the case be handled by a high court.

Later in February this year, Anwar applied to recuse the judge on the grounds of bias after Mohamad Zabidin refused to entertain requests by Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh to cite a local newspaper for contempt over two articles it carried.

Meanwhile, Anwar's counsel also applied to the court to obtained the information on the evidences provided by the prosecution but their efforts were driven to no avail.

Anwar became Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister in 1993 but was later sacked in September 1998 when the then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad claimed that Anwar was guilty of homosexual acts.

Currently, Anwar is the adviser of the opposition party Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or the People's Justice Party and the opposition leader in the Malaysian Parliament.

Source: Xinhua


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