‘Put DPP, Saiful on stand’

(AFP) – LAWYERS for Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Friday announced plans to put the young man accusing him of sodomy on the stand, to answer claims of an affair with a trial prosecutor.

Anwar last week applied to have sodomy charges against him struck out over allegations a female prosecutor had an affair with his accuser, 25-year-old Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who once worked as an aide in his office.

The former deputy prime minister, who was sacked and jailed on separate sex and corruption counts a decade ago, has argued that the alleged affair is more evidence that he is the victim of a political conspiracy.

‘I will make an application to the court on Monday to have the deputy public prosecutor and Mohamad Saiful put on the witness stand over the allegations that they were having an affair,’ said chief counsel Karpal Singh.

‘This is a very serious allegation. The truth must prevail.’ ‘By having an affair with the deputy public prosecutor, Saiful could have access to classified information. This is an abuse of the court process.’

High Court Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah last week agreed to adjourn the sodomy trial until Monday, when he will hear applications from both sides on the strike-out motion and decide whether to resume the hearings. ‘It cannot be denied that there was an allegation of an affair… therefore I am of the view it is better for me to hear the application of strike-out first,’ the judge said at the time.

Blog exposed affair

*The claims of an affair first surfaced in a political blog. No evidence has been offered but neither the prosecution nor the pair involved have denied the allegations.

*Saiful has accused Anwar – a 62-year-old father of six – of sodomising him at an upmarket Kuala Lumpur condominium in 2008. If convicted, the opposition leader could face up to 20 years in prison.

*Anwar has said he is the victim of a plot to prevent him from taking power after the opposition made huge strides in 2008 elections, stunning the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, which has been in power for half a century. — AFP