Sodomy II: Court dismisses Anwar’s bid to strike out charges over alleged affair

(The Star) – The High Court dismissed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s application to strike out sodomy charges against him over the alleged affair between DPP Farah Azlina Latif and key witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

After going through the application and affidavits, judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah found that Farah did not have access or privy to the investigation papers and that the she could not ascertain the direction of the prosecution.

Her role was limited to taking notes, he said.

“She had no access to the investigation papers and that means, Saiful also had no access to it,” he said.

“Therefore, the issue of the accused not getting a fair trial does not arise,” said the judge on Monday.

Court adjourned to 2.15pm for the defence to file an appeal notice and for the court to hear the application to stay the proceedings.

Anwar, through lead counsel Karpal Singh, had applied to have his charge struck out on grounds that the integrity of the prosecution team, led by Solicitor-General (S-G) II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden had been compromised as a result of the alleged affair.

Karpal had submitted that Mohd Saiful would have had access to investigation papers and witness statements via Farah Azlina, and that amounted to an offence under the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Mohd Yusof, however, argued that the allegation was not something that Anwar could prove.

He also said that DPP Hanafiah and investigating officer Jude Pereira had submitted affidavits-in-reply stating that at no time did Farah Azlina or anyone else have access to the documents and materials in the case.

On July 27, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail confirmed that Farah Azlina was dropped from the prosecution team in Anwar’s second sodomy trial as well as from the prosecution division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

This is Anwar’s second bid to have his charge struck out.

He had filed a similar application last year, based on medical reports stating that there was no sign of penetration into complainant Mohd Saiful’s rectum, but that application was dismissed.

He then appealed to the Federal Court.

A three-member panel led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria rejected his appeal on May 4.

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.