Defence go on offensive as Sodomy II trial draws closer

By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider

Every day that passes brings Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim one step closer to the dock. Rather than stepping back to build his defence, the Opposition Leader has chosen to go on the offensive and raise his attacks against his prosecutors.

His lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah upped the ante today, drawing attention to the first sodomy case against the former deputy prime minister in 1998, and evoking a sense of deja vu.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament today, Sivarasa hinted at a government conspiracy against Anwar who is likely to stand trial for Sodomy II on July 8.

The Subang MP noted that Anwar had filed a police report in February accusing the police and the Attorney General of spinning lies on his arrest in 1998 for Sodomy I.

However, the police failed to act on the report, Sivarasa claimed.

Efforts to find out the progress of the investigation from the police over the past four months were met with silence, he added.

It was only three days ago that he received an update on the investigation, Sivarasa said.

He added that the reply was from the home affairs minister who said the police had referred Anwar’s Sodomy I report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on February 21, a day after the report was filed, to decide on the next course of action.

Sivarasa, who is also a PKR vice-president said he is filing a report with the anti-graft body for an update and will send it in by tomorrow.

In his February police report, Anwar accused the police and the Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail of falsifying the reason for his September 1998 arrest for sodomy.

He claimed that the arresting officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Koh Hong San, had written a false record of his arrest 11 years ago, claiming he was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for a detention without trial for up to two years.

The PKR adviser claimed that ACP Koh told him he was being arrested under Section 377 of the Criminal Penal Code (CPC) when he was picked up from his home on the night of September 20, 1998.

Anwar claimed the reason was to hide the bruised eye he got from the then IGP Tan Sri Rahim Noor while in police custody.

Images of Anwar’s “black eye” have been circulated globally and have come to symbolise his party’s struggle for reform.