Anwar prevented truth from coming out in sodomy case, says prosecution


V. Anbalagan, TMI

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim denied the prosecution the opportunity to cross-examine him on the sodomy charge when the opposition leader opted to give a statement from the dock when entering his defence, ad hoc deputy public prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the Court of Appeal today.

He said such statements had no or less evidential value compared with the cross-examination of an accused person.

“Cross-examination is the genius of the common law system as it will reveal whether an accused person was telling the truth,” he said in his submission in Putrajaya’s appeal against Anwar’s acquittal for sodomy.

On January 9, 2012, Anwar, now 66, was acquitted by the High Court of a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at a condominium unit in Bukit Damansara in 2008.

Shafee said trial judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd did not make any analysis in his written grounds on Anwar who only gave a statement from the dock.

Shafee said only vulnerable witnesses, like those who were mentally unstable, could give a statement.

“Here, the respondent (Anwar) had a serious problem to explain as he had denied sodomosing Saiful,” he said, adding that Anwar had been devious in his defence.

Shafee said Anwar gave a notice of alibi to the prosecution that he was not at the crime scene.

“However, he did not call any of the 14 witnesses, including his wife, when the prosecution showed video and CCTV evidence that he was at the crime scene,” he added.

Shafee said Saiful testified in detail during hearing in camera about the alleged sodomy act by Anwar, and the first prosecution witness was also vigorously cross examined by the defence.

Shafee said in the end Karpal said that the incident never took place.

“The defence is now a classic case of bare denial. Anwar hid behind the dock and attacked a judge, the prosecution and the government,” he said.