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Court Hears Anwar’s Review Application Against Sodomy Conviction

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PUTRAJAYA -The Federal Court Wednesday heard Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s final bid to set aside his sodomy conviction and five-year sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin chaired a five-member bench comprising Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court Judges Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin and Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim.

The proceeding began at 9.30am.

Head of trial and appellate division Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid led the prosecution team. He is assisted by deputy public prosecutors Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud, Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abdul Rahman and Zhafran Rahim Hamzah.

Anwar, 68, is represented by lawyers Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, Sangeet Kaur Deo, N.Surendran, Latheefa Koya, R. Sivarasa, J.Leela and Shahid Adli Kamaruddin.

Anwar had filed the review application seeking the Federal Court to invoke Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 and review the decision of the five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.

Alternatively, he wants the Federal Court to re-hear his appeal on its merits.

Earlier, Justice Zulkefli dismissed Sri Ram’s application to change a new panel on grounds that the application for the panel to recuse themselves from hearing the review application was of no merit.

“We shall ensure that the applicant (Anwar) would have a fair hearing based on the evidence before us,” he said.

Sri Ram requested to change the panel as the same panel had previously rejected Anwar’s application to include former Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusuff’s evidence in the sodomy conviction review bid.

Sri Ram argued, that in dismissing the application, the panel had made a remark that Anwar had been given a fair trial and hearing from the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

The remarks, he said, showed that the panel had gone into merit of the review hearing and therefore Anwar would not be given a fair hearing in today’s application.

“We request this panel to consider to change a different panel,” he added.

Ahmad Kamal argued that the panel had not concluded in the merit of the case in its previous judgment and that the panel could hear the review application.

Anwar is currently serving a five-year jail term in Sungai Buloh Prison after the Federal Court, on Feb 10, 2015, upheld his conviction and sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of the charge.

However, the court of Appeal overturned the ruling and convicted Anwar after allowing the prosecution appeal.

Anwar was alleged to have committed the offence at Unit 11-5-1 of Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

Anwar arrived at the courtroom at 8.50am accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, his daughters and family members.

— BERNAMA

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