Defence wants Saiful, DPP recalled to answer affair allegation

(The Malaysian Insider) – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers have demanded the court recall Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan and Farah Azlina Latif to answer allegations of an affair between them, saying that it was necessary in order to ensure a “just decision” of the trial.

Defence counsel Karpal Singh dismissed the results of an investigation headed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers which concluded that there was no basis for the allegation.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had said in a written reply in Parliament to Karpal on November 10 that there was no evidence of an affair between Farah Azlina and Saiful.

Farah Azlina is a deputy public prosecutor who was part of the prosecution team in the ongoing sodomy trial.

However, the Padang Rengas MP said that Farah Azlina was removed from the prosecution team to avoid any further allegations of impropriety in Anwar’s second sodomy trial that began 21 months ago.

“An independent inquiry would have been an answer and that one must be conducted by this court by recalling SP1 (Saiful) to deny the allegation under oath and summoning Farah Azlina as a witness to do likewise in court,” Karpal said today during the defence’s closing submissions of the trial.

The veteran lawyer said that High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah had “ample powers” to do so under section 425 of the Criminal Procedure Code which allows “any court to… summon any person as a witness or any person in attendance… to examine or recall and re-examine any such person if his evidence appears to be essential to the just decision of the case.”

He stressed that the court would be “abdicating” its duty if it did not summon the two, and pointed out that they have yet to deny the allegation.

Karpal said if the affair did indeed take place, Saiful would have had “access to the investigation papers and accordingly tailor his evidence to the detriment of the defence.”

Opposition Leader Anwar had tried to strike out the sodomy charge following controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s allegations in August 2010 that Saiful and Farah Azlina were in a sexual relationship.