Gani: Bar Council president wrong on section 377C


Inappropriate to say that Anwar Ibrahim should have been charged under section 377C because the sentence is heavier with a maximum of 20 years’ jail.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was convicted and sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomising his former aide was charged under section 377B of the Penal Code, a less serious offence than section 377C.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail (pic) said the Penal Code provided two instances where a person could be charged for sodomy; section 377B where “with or without consent” is not an ingredient, and section 377C where the act of sodomy is committed without consent or against the will of the other person.

“The other distinguishing feature is the punishment where the law imposes a minimum sentence of five years under section 377C,” he said in a statement here tonight.

Section 377B has no minimum term of imprisonment, he said.

He said the public prosecutor opted to charge Anwar under section 377B and that was purely based on the prosecutorial discretion sanctioned by Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

“The public prosecutor is exercising such discretion will have regard to the facts and circumstances of each case and certainly not at his whims and fancies,” added Abdul Gani.

He said as such, it was inappropriate for Bar Council president Christopher Leong to say that the Opposition Leader should have more properly been charged under section 377C.

“In point of fact, it appears that the president of the Malaysian Bar instead, is suggesting that he (Anwar) should be charged under section 377C which is a more serious offence and which would have exposed Anwar Ibrahim to a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20,” he said.