Court: Saiful, DPP Farah need not testify on alleged affair

Another deputy public prosecutor, Mohamad Hanafiah, implicated in Shariah offence

(Free Malaysia Today) – The High Court today dismissed an application by Anwar Ibrahim to call star witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan and deputy public prosecutor Farah Azlina Latif to give evidence on their alleged affair.

The ruling was made by Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah who had heard submissions on the application this morning.

The decision means that Mohd Saiful and his alleged lover Farah will not be asked to take the stand so that they can be questioned on their relationship.

Following this decision, the court will now proceed to hear Anwar’s application to strike out his sodomy charge on the ground that the integrity and impartiality of the entire prosecution team had been compromised as the result of the affair allegation.

Anwar’s lead counsel Karpal Singh had initially wanted to hear evidence from both Saiful and Farah before he could proceed with the application.

Anwar’s lawyers said previously that the sodomy trial had been compromised as a result of the relationship. They claimed that Mohd Saiful could have had access to the details of the prosecution’s strategy as well as to notes from other witnesses.

The prosecution however claimed that Farah was just a note-taker in the prosecution team and had no access to legal documents and other sensitive material.

Both Mohd Saiful and Farah have not said anything publicly about the alleged relationship.

Prosecution: Hearsay

This morning Karpal said that it was important to call Farah and Mohd Saiful to answer the allegations made against them.

“At this point, the prosecution has not offered to call them, and we can’t, so the court must,” he said.

Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, who is leading the prosecution, argued that the allegation was not something that Anwar could prove, saying that the defence’s arguments were just hearsay.

“The whole thing is hearsay and inadmissible,” he said.

Mohd Yusof also told the court that deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria and the case’s investigating officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira had filed affidavits that Saiful and Farah had no access to sensitive documents.

Anwar, 63, had claimed trial to sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful, 25, at Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.