Despite Karpal’s death, court rejects Anwar’s bid for more time


(Malay Mail Onine) – The Federal Court has rejected Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s letter applying for an extended deadline to file the petition of appeal against his second sodomy conviction, despite the death of his lead counsel Karpal Singh.

Lawyer Zaleha Al-Hayat said that the apex court’s registrar instead advised their law firm, Karpal Singh & Co, to put in a notice of motion with an affidavit explaining the grounds of extension and seek for a trial date.

The more involved process would, however, eat up even more valuable time and possibly leave the defence in a precarious position should this also be rejected, she explained.

“For instance, if the trial goes on next week and the prosecution objects to our application for more time and the notice is then dismissed, that would mean time has lapsed to file petition of appeal and we have breached the deadline,” Zaleha told the Malay Mail Online.

“It is too risky and we have to work around the clock with Ramkarpal try to put in the petition by tomorrow,” she said.

Yesterday, Ramkarpal through his father’s firm sent in a letter seeking for more time to file the petition of appeal against Anwar’s conviction, which expires on Thursday.

“It is highly inconsiderate and shows a lack of sympathy and understanding for the tragedy. Even in death Karpal’s law firm is being harassed,” said Latheefa Koya, who is also assisting the case.

“It appears that the court is bent on rushing through the Federal Court appeal since they will not even grant an extension on compassionate grounds,” she added in a brief text message.

The Court of Appeal convicted Anwar last month of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on June 26, 2008 and sentenced him to five years’ jail, overturning the High Court’s decision to free the opposition leader.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers is also planning to file a cross appeal to seek a longer jail sentence for 66-year-old Anwar.

Karpal was killed while heading to Penang from Kuala Lumpur to attend a court hearing when the car carrying him collided with a five-tonne lorry near Gua Tempurung in Gopeng, Perak last Thursday. The accident also claimed the life of his long-time assistant, Michael Cornelius.