PUTRAJAYA – The Federal Court has set Feb 10 to deliver its verdict in the final appeal by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against his conviction and five-year jail sentence on the charge of having sodomised his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan six years ago.
The date of the decision, by a five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, was announced today in the Malaysian Judiciary Twitter account. The announcement stated the time of handing down the decision as 9 am.
When contacted, Federal Court Corporate Communications and International Relations Division head Mohd Aizuddin Zolkeply confirmed the date.
The panel, which also comprises Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Ramly Ali, had heard Anwar’s appeal in November last year and reserved its decision.
Anwar, 67, has appealed against the decision of the Court of Appeal which found him guilty on the sodomy charge and sentenced him to five year’s jail.
The Court of Appeal had, on March 7 last year, overturned the decision of the High Court which had acquitted and discharged Anwar on the charge.
The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor was alleged to have sodomised Mohd Saiful, 27, at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, here, between 3.10 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26, 2008.
The charge, under Section 377B of the Penal Code, carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years and whipping, upon conviction.
If Anwar loses his appeal, he will be disqualified as the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh as per Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution, which states that an MP would be disqualified if he or she is sentenced to a jail term of more than a year or fined more than RM2,000.
On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted Anwar of the charge on the grounds that the court could not be 100 per cent certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.
It (the High Court) had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the Chemistry Department for analysis.
However, the Court of Appeal, in convicting Anwar, held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.
Anwar was represented by a team of 15 lawyers led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram while the prosecution team was led by senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. – BERNAMA