Presence of third party DNA not a coincidence, says Anwar’s counsel


(The Star) – There is a third party’s DNA profile found in Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s anus despite his claim that he is not a homosexual, the Court of Appeal heard.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s co-counsel Ramkarpal Singh submitted earlier yesterday that the prosecution had failed to explain the source of the “intimate samples” during the Opposition Leader’s sodomy trial.

He argued that two samples taken from Saiful’s anus and a towel found in Anwar’s lock-up on the night of July 16, 2008 had the third party’s DNA.

Ramkarpal argued that the presence of the third-party DNA could only happen if Saiful had had a sexual relationship with a man or someone else had come into contact with the samples taken from the complainant.

“There are only two ways this (third-party DNA) can happen. The first possibility is that he (Saiful) had a sexual relationship with a man who ejaculated inside him, leaving his DNA there. Or someone else had come into contact with the sperm after it was extracted,” he argued before a three-man panel chaired by Justice Balia Yusof Wahi. The two other judges are Justices Aziah Ali and Mohd Zawawi Salleh.

He said the defence did not know the identity of the third party contributor.

“There is some form of tampering as he (Saiful) himself said that he is not homosexual. It cannot be a coincidence for a same person’s DNA to be found on the different items,” he said.

He said the possibility of retired investigating officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira to have contact with the samples could not be excluded due to him being a custodian of those items for a longer time.

“It is not for us to speculate but it creates reasonable doubt.

“Other people who had custody included three government doctors,” he said.

Ramkarpal submitted that the prosecution’s contention that Supt Pereira had merely cut an envelope containing samples for re-labelling was “too much a simplistic view”.

“Tampering is fatal. That is why we say that the trial judge was correct when he said that he cannot be 100% certain that the samples were not compromised,” he argued.

Anwar’s lead counsel Karpal Singh also hit out at lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s remarks over Anwar’s move to give a statement from the dock.

Karpal said Shafee had defended lawyer and former deputy speaker D.P. Vijandran for a case in Ipoh where he had given a statement from the dock.

“He (Vijandran) is obviously not of low mental capacity,” he said to Muhammad Shafee’s remarks that such a defence was to protect a vulnerable accused who is mentally not stable.

On Thursday, Muhammad Shafee had argued that Anwar would not dare to take the witness stand to explain his sodomy charge, the Court of Appeal heard.

He had argued that the evidence against Anwar was overwhelming and the Opposition Leader ought to be found guilty of the charge.

He said Anwar would have a tough time defending himself against the charge and would not want to be cross-examined.

“The respondent (Anwar) chose a safe way – to give a statement from the dock. This is a classic bare denial. A bare denial after giving­ a notice of alibi,” added Muhammad Shafee,

Anwar was acquitted by the High Court on Jan 9, 2012 for allegedly sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful at Desa Damansara Condo-minium Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

In his decision, trial judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah had ruled that the court could not be 100% certain, after going through the evidence, that the integrity of the DNA samples had not been compromised.