Sodomy II: Anwar hires foreign DNA, forensics experts

(The Star) – Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has engaged three foreign DNA and forensic experts to assist in his sodomy trial.

His lawyer Sankara Nair said the PKR leader had engaged the services of DNA expert Dr Brian Leslie McDonald from Sydney, Australia, and forensic experts Prof Dr C. Damodaran from Chennai, India and Associate Professor David Lawrence Noel Wells from Melbourne, Australia.

In a statement e-mailed to the media Wednesday, Sankara said he would be bringing the experts to the Kuala Lumpur High Court at 9am on Thursday, where the trial judge was scheduled to deliver his decision on Anwar’s recusal application.

Anwar had last week applied to recuse trial judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah on the grounds that his two rulings concerning news reports of the case had raised an element of bias.

Sankara said Dr McDonald, who has a PhD in Pathology from the University of Western Australia, has performed and reported over 5,000 paternity tests for family law cases.

He said Dr McDonald, who is director of both DNA Consults and Molecular Genetics for the Sonic Clinical Institute, has authored or co-authored 79 scientific papers, chapters in books and conference proceedings.

Sankara said that Dr Damodaran, who has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Madras, has 28 years experience in forensics and teaching and 36 years in analytical biochemistry/ biochemical toxicology forensic generics and biotechnology. He is also the founder of India’s DNA Fingerprinting Initiative as well as its first paternity testing centre. He has been involved in 96 research based publications in leading journals and received the Home Minister award for outstanding contribution to forensic science in 1995.

Sankara said Dr Wells, who is division head (clinicial foreign medicine) of the Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine, received the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship in 1992.

Anwar, 63, claimed trial to sodomising his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 25, in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

The Court of Appeal will announce its decision at 3pm on Wednesday on the application by Anwar to strike out his sodomy charge.