Prosecution gets interim stay in Anwar’s trial

(The Star) – The prosecution has been granted an interim stay over the supply of documents to PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pending the disposal of their stay application.

High Court judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah on Wednesday allowed the order after Anwar’s lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad applied for some time to reply to affidavit-in-support by the prosecution.

Amer told the judge that the defence was only served with a sealed copy of the notice of motion for the stay application on Tuesday.

“We need some time to reply to three reasons stated by the prosecution in their affidavit-support,” he said.

The prosecution had filed for the stay application on Monday.

The affidavit-in-support, which filed on Monday, was affirmed by deputy head of prosecution (policy) Datuk Nordin Hassan, who is one of the deputy public prosecutors who has been handling Anwar’s sodomy trial.

In his affidavit-in-support, Nordin stated that the stay against the court order granted on last Thursday would not prejudice Anwar as the trial date for his sodomy case has not been fixed yet.

In stating his grounds, Nordin said there were implications due to the court order especially over the supply of witness statements to be supplied to the defence.

Nordin said the move would not only jeopardise the investigation and the prosecution of Anwar’s case but other criminal cases as well.

Nordin said the stay was required in view of public interest.

Apart from that, Nordin said the stay was necessary to avoid the appeal by the Public Prosecutor to the Court of Appeal against the same court order became academic as it involved points of law.

Nordin said the Public Prosecutor believed that the issue over Anwar’s rights to be supplied with certain documents and exhibits and the prosecution’s duty to do so, involved question of law which should be determined by the appellate court before the proceeding at the High Court could be continued.

Yesterday, Amer said the defence has no intention to make any allegations against the Public Prosecutor but merely to reply to main part on the content of the affidavit-in-support.

Lead prosecutor Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden objected for any adjournment.

“We are (also) not making any allegation against anybody. It is a small submission on law. It would not be more than 15 minutes, “ he said.

Justice Mohamad Zabidin immediately granted the interim stay pending the disposal of the stay application which was set to be heard on Friday at 9.30am.

Anwar is exempted from attending the hearing of the stay application.

The judge set 2.30pm on the same day to mention Anwar sodomy trial and an application by him to strike out his charge.

Last Thursday, Justice Mohamad Zabidin granted Anwar’s application to get certain documents for preparation of his sodomy trial.

The judge directed the prosecution to comply with the order within a week.

Justice Mohamad Zabidin ordered the prosecution to supply Anwar’s lawyer with a copy of CCTV recordings taken from the guardhouse and lifts of the Desa Damansara Condominium for three days from June 25 last year.

He also ordered the prosecution to supply to Anwar’s lawyer a copy of its witness list and all documents to be tendered in court as evidence.

The judge asked the prosecution to hand over a statement of facts which was favourable to Anwar, if available.

On March 10, Anwar, 62, pleaded not guilty to sodomising his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26 last year.

However, the judge disallowed the defence team’s application to inspect the original samples taken from Saiful, saying that the evidence had been sealed by the chemist and that any disturbance would affect its identity.

Among others, Justice Mohamad Zabidin also ordered that copies of six witness statements, including Saiful’s be supplied to the defence.