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Defence Fail To Call Alibi Witnesses – Shafee

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PUTRAJAYA – The prosecution continued with submissions on the sixth day of Datuk Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in the Federal Court by questioning the defence’s failure to call any of the witnesses listed in its alibi notice.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said that Anwar’s defence had submitted a notice of alibi, however, none of the witnesses listed were called to give evidence during the trial in the High Court.

Shafee told the court that the reasons given by Anwar for not calling the witnesses, do not make sense.

“The reasons provided (by Anwar in his statement from dock) do not gel for not calling his alibi witnesses,” he said.

The lawyer adds that the court is entitled to draw adverse inference from the defence’s failure to follow up on its alibi notice.

“The defence cannot simply abandon the defence of alibi. Once you have opened the umbrella, you must use it irrespective of rain or shine,” he said.

The lawyer added that the prosecution had proven that Anwar was at the condominium unit (Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium).

He told the court that two photographs of Anwar and another of Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan clearly proved that both were at the condominium unit at the same time. Thus, it was the defence’s duty to produce its alibi witnesses.

A five-member panel of the Federal Court led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria resumed Tuesday to hear the prosecution’s submissions.

The panel had spent last Tuesday to Thursday hearing from Anwar’s defence team led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on Mar 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s judgment and found Anwar guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal 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.

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