Anwar set to capture attention again

By CHELSEA L.Y. NG, The Star

The sequel to the high-profile Malaysian sodomy trial is about to start.

With the same main cast and a new victim, the third in the trilogy, popularly known as Sodomy 2, promises to be more enthralling and raunchy than any of its prequels.

At least that is the promo that has been circulating in the country and around the world as seen in the queries made by foreigners who visit Malaysia.

No other trial in the nation had captured that much media attention and public attendance than the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim trials.

In the first of the trilogy at the end of the last millennium, protagonist Anwar was tried and convicted for committing four counts of corrupt practice.

Though it was a trial on abuse of power, the case saw exhibits like a mattress – with 13 areas stained with seminal fluid – being carried in and out of the courtroom and samples of human hair being tendered in court, besides testimonies filled with sordid details that were churned out daily.

The DNA test results were finally rejected by the court but the former deputy prime minister went on to spend six years in jail from 1999 based on other evidence.

In 2000 he was further slapped with an additional nine-year jail sentence for a charge of having sodomised his former driver Azizan Abu Bakar.

However, that conviction was overturned following an appeal by Anwar to the Federal Court in 2004.

The quashing of the conviction paved the way for Anwar’s release from prison.

Now, five years on, he faces another sodomy charge, and this time, he has allegedly done it on a former worker again.

The 61-year-old is accused of forcibly sodomising 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, his former aide, at an apartment in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

Before the hearing can proceed with the much-anticipated scandalous and “juicy” details, Anwar has already laid several hurdles for prosecutors to cross.

First, his lawyers called a press conference weeks before the public hearing, saying that medical reports on Saiful had purportedly shown that there was neither penetration nor wound.

Then there is Anwar’s application to compel the prosecution to provide him with certain documents for the preparation of his defence.

There is also his application to strike off the sodomy charge, which has been fixed for today.

Then there is the imminent possibility of the lead prosecutor Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden retiring before his statutory deadline.

One wonders whether this time around it would be sodomy law or Sod’s law (the British equivalent to Murphy’s Law) ruling the show.

Only time will tell.