PUTRAJAYA, Oct 30 — Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said today the defence in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case had only presented “partial facts” during their three days of submissions for his appeal.
Shafee, who is leading the prosecution team, said he will present the facts when he takes his turn for submissions tomorrow, and that 15 per cent of his arguments will be new.
“I will start with facts because partial facts given by defence team,” he told reporters at the Federal Court today.
Earlier during the appeal hearing, Shafee urged the court for more time before he proceeds with submissions tomorrow, saying he needs to peruse the arguments presented by the appellant’s team.
Shafee told the five-man panel of judges that he was up till 4am this morning reading Anwar’s lawyers’ submissions, and complained that Ramkarpal Singh’s submissions had used very small fonts.
Court was then adjourned to tomorrow. The respondent is expected to take all of tomorrow to reply, while the appellant is slated to reply next Monday.
During submissions over the past three days, Anwar’s lawyers took turns dissecting the Court of Appeal’s reasons for convicting their client of sodomy in March this year.
The lawyers took apart the prosecution’s case and cast doubt over the DNA evidence that the appellate court had relied on when deciding Anwar’s fate.
Anwar’s lead counsel, former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said that the appellate court should have evaluated Sodomy II complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s statements to determine if the alleged act of sodomy had been forced or consensual.
He said during submissions on Tuesday that there were reasonable grounds to explore the matter as although the alleged sodomy act was said to have been non-consensual, the actual charge was not framed in such a manner.
Defence counsel Sangeet Deo Kaur also poured doubt on the “Male Y” DNA sample taken from items that Anwar allegedly used while in lockup in 2008, saying evidence linking it to the Opposition Leader were merely “circumstantial”
She said that although the samples taken from the toothbrush, the “Good Morning” towel and mineral water bottle were said to be Anwar’s, there was no clear proof that he had used the items.
Yesterday, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh questioned why the notes and documents that the government’s DNA expert had relied on in her Sodomy II testimony were neither tendered as evidence nor supplied to Anwar’s defence team during trial.
This, he told the five-man panel at the Federal Court, had created a major “handicap” in their case.
Today, Ramkarpal said the Court of Appeal had failed to consider the possibility that the DNA samples used to convict Anwar of sodomy had been tampered with by then-investigating officer Jude Pereira.
He said the appellate court had erred when it accepted Pereira’s explanation as gospel truth.
Ramkarpal also said that the three doctors from Hospital Kuala Lumpur who examined Saiful had merely “assumed” that penile penetration had taken place.
He the doctors’ findings, as well as that of Hospital Pusrawi’s Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid, had shown no conclusive physical proof of such penetration.
Ramkarpal was the fourth lawyer in Anwar’s defence team to submit in court.
Anwar was held overnight from July 16 to 17, from 11.05pm to 12.30pm, in 2008, after being arrested for allegedly sodomising his former aide Saiful.
Samples taken from the toothbrush, mineral water bottle and “good morning” towel that were given to Anwar during his jail stint were later used to match the DNA samples taken from Saiful.
During trial in 2011, government chemist Nor Aidora had testified that there were two DNA profiles found on the evidence samples – that of “Male Y” and that of an unknown DNA profile.
The chemist had also testified that the DNA profiles found on the items match those whose sperm extracts had been found on Saiful’s anus earlier.
The Federal Court is now hearing Anwar’s challenge of the Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn a lower court’s decision to acquit him of the charge.
The High Court had in 2012 acquitted Anwar of the 2008 charge but the appellate court ruled on March 7 this year that the trial judge had erred when rejecting the DNA evidence produced in the case.
Anwar has repeatedly maintained his innocence, insisting that the charges were trumped up to kill his political career as he allegedly poses a threat to the Barisan Nasional coalition’s decades-long rule with the Pakatan Rakyat alliance, which he now leads.
If Anwar fails to reverse his five-year imprisonment sentence and conviction in the Federal Court, he would lose his seat as the law bars anyone fined RM2,000 or imprisoned for one year from serving as a lawmaker.
Today’s hearing was presided over by a five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria. Others include Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Ramly Ali, who replaced Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.
Anwar is represented by a 14-man defence team led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram. Others include lawyers R. Sivarasa, Latheefa Koya, N. Surendran and Gobind Singh Deo.
Lawyers from the prosecution team are Shafee and Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria.
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