Sodomy II moved, court to rule on appeal on Jan 29

(The Star) – Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial is now fixed to be heard on Feb 2 after the Federal Court set Jan 29 to deliver its ruling on his appeal for the prosecution to supply him with certain documents.

Anwar’s trial had originally been set to commence for a month from Jan 25.

Chief Judge of Malaya Arifin Zakaria, who sat with Justices Md Raus Sharif and Abdull Hamid Embong, said the court reserved Jan 29 to deliver its ruling after the bench failed to reach a decision Wednesday.

“We cannot come to a conclusion this afternoon. We reserve Jan 29 to deliver the findings of our decision.

“The trial proper will be vacated until we have given our decision. It can proceed on Feb 2,” he ruled after a 40-minute stand-down.

Anwar, 62, is charged with sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, on June 26, 2008.

On July 16 last year, High Court judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah granted Anwar’s application under Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code to compel the prosecution to supply him with key documents to enable him to prepare his defence so that the prosecution process would be more open and fair.

The High Court had granted him, among others, copies of witness statements, CCTV recordings, police reports, medical and chemist notes.

The court, however, did not grant him his request for DNA samples taken from Mohd Saiful.

On Nov 6 the Court of Appeal, in a unanimous decision, overturned the High Court’s ruling in allowing the prosecution’s appeal and dismissed Anwar’s cross-appeal for DNA samples.

In his submissions Wednesday, Anwar’s lawyer Karpal Singh sought to have the apex court restore the High Court’s order, saying that the appeals filed by both parties to the Court of Appeal had been incompetent.

“The matter is not appealable as it is not final,” he said.

Solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, however, argued that there was finality in the order as it meant that the prosecution would have to provide Anwar with the documents.

He submitted that the order was an interlocutory one, and had finality on the particular matter.