Anwar takes government to court in latest bid to quash conviction

(FMT) – Jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today filed a suit against the Malaysian government, saying he had been denied a fair trial following a recent allegation that the lead prosecutor in his sodomy case two years ago had received RM9.5 million from the prime minister.

Lawyer N Surendran said the government was named the defendant because it was legally responsible for the imprisonment of Anwar.

“Everything is under the government. They are liable. And consequently, all other responses will have to come under the government.

“The prime minister will have to answer because the government is being sued,” he told reporters at Jalan Duta court today accompanied by Anwar’s daughter Nurul Nuha Anwar, and lawyers Latheefa Koya, Sivarasa Rasiah and Eric Paulsen.

Whistleblower portal Sarawak Report recently alleged that prominent lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who was appointed to lead the prosecution against Anwar, had received RM9.5 million from the prime minister’s private bank accounts.

Anwar’s suit filed at the High Court today sought to quash the Court of Appeal’s decision in March 2014, which overturned his acquittal from a charge of sodomising a former PKR aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The decision was reaffirmed by the Federal Court in February 2015, which sentenced Anwar to five years’ jail.

Anwar is seeking a declaration that his conviction by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014 was ultra vires to Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution.

Surendran said the application was being filed with “urgency” in view of the seriousness of the allegation.

“This is in view of the latest development which is very serious because Anwar should not remain in prison even for one more day.

“We are moving this application with urgency,” he said.

FMT’s attempts to contact Shafee have not been successful so far, although messages sent to his WhatsApp were marked as “read”.