PUTRAJAYA – Only the plastic bag containing the 12 receptacles of samples collected from Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was cut open by the investigation officer (IO) in the sodomy case involving PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and not the receptacles themselves which contained swabs lifted from the complainant’s rectum, the Federal Court heard today.
Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said Supt (Rtd) Jude Blacious Pereira complied with the Inspector-General of Police Standing Order (IGSO) where all exhibits had to be placed in separate envelopes before they were sent to the Chemistry Department.
He said that during the examination-in-chief, Pereira had explained the matter in detail and never attempted to cover up his act as contended by the defence.
“What he actually did was strictly comply with what was required of the IO under the IGSO by putting each receptacle in separate envelopes and marking the envelopes.
“He did not make any marking on the receptacles or open them since they were sealed by Dr Siew Sheue Feng, where the doctor and the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhary Azlan, signed on the seal on each of the receptacles,” Muhammad Shafee pointed out.
Muhammad Shafee was submitting for the prosecution in the appeal by Anwar against his conviction and five-year jail sentence for having allegedly sodomised his former aide, Mohd Saiful, at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, on June 26, 2008.
The senior lawyer also told the five-man bench headed by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria that to support the IO’s action, the prosecution had produced a copy of the IGSO which clearly spelt out how the exhibits should be handled and stored before being sent to the chemist.
Muhammad Shafee said that at the High Court stage, the defence team succeeded in its argument that there was a possibility of tampering which had resulted in the acquittal of the PKR advisor.
However, at the Court of Appeal, the prosecution argued that when chemists Dr Seah Lay Hong and Nor Adora Saidon sealed the exhibits, all receptacles were intact and the court agreed and reversed the High Court decision.
He explained that the intimate samples of Mohd Saiful were collected by two doctors of Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), namely Dr Mohd Razali Ibrahim and Dr Khairul Nizam, on June 28, 2008.
“The samples was brought back by the IO and stored at his office locker for almost 48 hours before he took it out on June 30, 2008 and sent it to the chemist,” he said.
Muhammad Shafee also said that the samples, collected from the lock-up cell where Anwar was detained overnight at the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Headquarters, arrived at the Chemistry Department on July 17, 2008.
“The defence is relying on the conspiracy theory that the samples were tampered with, but here we are arguing about the analysis carried out by chemists on spermatozoa of the seminal stains.
“However, here they (the defence) are contending on the possibility of the IO having got the DNA samples of the appellant (Anwar) from somewhere and having planted them with the samples collected from the complainant,” he said.
On the issue that there was a break in the chain of gathering the exhibits, Muhammad Shafee said there was none since the IO complied with what was required under the IGSO even though he admitted that he did not follow Dr Siew’s advice to store the samples in the freezer to preserve them.
Muhammad Shafee will resume his submission on Monday and the defence will reply on Tuesday.
On March 7, the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court decision and sentenced Anwar, 67, to five years’ jail on the charge of sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 27.
The charge, under Section 377B of the Penal Code, carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years, and whipping, upon conviction. – BERNAMA