Media leak: Defence fails in contempt bid

(Free Malaysia Today) – High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, who is hearing Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial, decided against allowing the defence to initiate contempt proceedings against the lead prosecutor over a news report.

The opposition leader’s lawyers were seeing red over the report which appeared in the New Straits Times, detailing the affidavit to be submitted by the prosecution today.

Lead counsel Karpal Singh blamed the prosecution for the leak, and described the media reports on the matter as “scandalous and contemptuous”.

He also revealed that the affidavit was published in full on the Malaysia Today blog for several hours yesterday.

Lead prosecutor, Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, whom Karpal accused of answering to politicians, took full responsibility for the leak.

However, Yusof stressed that he only answers to the judge and court, nobody else. “I fight my battles in court, not outside,” he said.

The prosecutor also felt that while Karpal might be emotional about the incident, the leak, however, would have little impact on the trial.

The judge then called both parties into chambers, and after a 10-minute discussion, he decided not be sidetracked by another trial-within-a-trial.

He reminded all parties not to do anything that would affect the legal proceedings.