A-G: Saiful not charged with sodomy because case similar to corruption


(The Star) – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was not charged with abatement as the sodomy case against the Opposition leader was similar to corruption cases, Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail said.

“Attorney-General’s Chambers emphasises that the case against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is more akin to that of corruption cases.

“In almost all corruption cases the receiver is charged while the giver is used as a witness against him,” the A-G said in a statement on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Federal Court upheld a Court of Appeal’s March 7, 2014 decision to sentence Anwar to five years’ jail for sodomising his former aide.

Gani said the Penal Code provides two instances where a person can be charged for sodomy.

Under Section 377 of the Penal Code, consent is not an ingredient, he noted.

“The other is 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,” Gani said.

Berating Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong for suggesting that Anwar should have been more properly charged under section 377C, Gani said this was “highly inappropriate” and “misleading”.

Leong had, in a statement, said Anwar should have been charged under 377C for forced sodomy or sodomy rape “although there may appear to have been some allegation of coercion made in the proceedings”.

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

He also said that the perception of certain parties that Anwar had been charged and convicted for a “victimless offence” is clearly unsupportable.

“Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was the person who suffered. He provided sworn testimony to a court of law of the acts he suffered which are a matter of judicial record.

“It must be remembered that all three courts found Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan to be a credible witness and there was nothing inherently improbable about his story,” the A-G said.