|Possibly a quick conviction and back to jail|
|Beh Li Yih | Jun 19, 09 6:38am Malaysiakini.com|
|What is likely to happen when Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim goes on trial for sodomy in two weeks’ time?
The worst-case senario, according to Anwar, would be for him going back to prison after a quick conviction.
While he can appeal against the conviction in the higher courts, bail could be denied and this would effectively put him back behind bars.
“The worst-case scenario is to deny me bail and have a quick conviction,” he told AFP ahead of his second sodomy trial which is due to start on July 1 and planned to last three weeks.
According to Anwar, false evidence would be introduced during the trial in a bid to put him in jail and end his political career.
“It’s a convenient way for Umno to get rid of me to settle their political problem,” he said.
Anwar, 61, has consistently rejected the allegations levelled by a 23-year-old former aide – the same charge that saw him jailed a decade ago – as a government conspiracy to derail his plan to topple the ruling coalition.
Sodomy, even between consenting adults, is illegal and carries a penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment.
The opposition leader is currently out on a RM20,000 bail pending his trial but supporters have expressed fears that his bail might even be revoked during the hearing.
In a pre-emptive move yesterday, Anwar applied to the court to strike out the sodomy charge on the grounds that two medical examinations of his accuser had found no signs of sodomy.
“You can’t proceed with the sodomy case when it is quite clear by the team of doctors… the medical experts that there is no trace of sodomy, so why do they proceed, except it is going to become a political ploy,” he said.
He vowed to put up a tough fight and would not dismiss the possibility of his supporters taking to the streets.
But Anwar said the party would exercise “peaceful means” to voice their protests if he was jailed.
“We will fight and I am now better prepared, unlike 1998, because that came as a surprise and nobody anticipated the ruthlessness of their manner,” he said.
“I don’t have a problem with that. The issue is whether he should be ready with all the evidence against him, particularly the medical evidence,” said the opposition leader.
Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, was sacked in 1998 and jailed for sodomy and corruption.
In 2004, the country’s highest court overturned the sodomy conviction, allowing Anwar to go free after six years in jail and paving the way for his return to politics.
Under Anwar’s leadership, the opposition last year dealt the ruling coalition its worst electoral setback yet but fell short of the numbers needed to form a new government.
The opposition leader said that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, which have differences in their ideologies, would not fall apart if he was jailed.
“The opposition is mindful of this fact (that I might be jailed) and have taken adequate measures,” he said.
|HKL medical report: No sign of penetration|
|S Pathmawathy | Jun 18, 09 2:56pm Malaysiakini.com|
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Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers today dropped a bombshell by disclosing that the most important element needed to stick a sodomy charge on the opposition leader was missing from a report prepared by Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL).
They said that the medical report released by the hospital has revealed that there was no evidence of penetration on 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan – the complainant on whom the criminal case was based.
A copy of the medical report was attached to an affidavit filed by Anwar yesterday to strike out the sodomy charges.
The court is to hear the case beginning July 1.
The medical report was dated July 13, 2008 and was endorsed by three specialists from the government hospital.
Part of the report, which was provided to members of the media today by Anwar’s lawyers, stated: “No conclusive clinical findings suggestive of penetration to the anus and no significant defensive wound on the body of the patient (Mohd Saiful)”.
“The most vital evidence in a rape or sodomy charge is to show proof of penetration,” said Anwar’s lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad.
“And it is missing in this case,” he added.
Saiful had lodged a police report last year, claiming that, Anwar, 61, who is the Permatang Pauh MP, had sodomised him.
R Sivarasa, who is also one of Anwar’s lawyers, argued that the allegations against Anwar were done with bad intention and this was part of a political conspiracy.
“Although there are expert statements that there was no penetration, the prosecution still proceeded with the case,” he said.
The medical report from HKL tallies with another medical report from Hospital Pusrawi (Pusat Rawatan Islam).
Saiful had first gone to the private hospital for a medical examination before being told to go to HKL when he said he wanted to lodge a police report for sodomy.
The Pusrawi’s medical report, which was leaked to Malaysiakini in July last year, also said there was no sign of anal penetration following a physical examination of Saiful.
Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid of Pusrawi, who had examined Saiful, later went into hiding in fear that his life was in danger.
Evidence must be tendered
The application to quash the sodomy charges is to be heard on June 22.
Amer also told reporters that the prosecution has yet to supply the defence with documents and other materials linked to the case.
“All that was given was the chemistry report and the list of things that were confiscated (from Anwar)…
“The defence has asked for the original copy of the CCTV recording from the Desa Damansara condominium, which is vital to the defence of Anwar. These, however, have yet to be provided,” said Amer.
“We were only given some blurred photographs and one video recording,” he said, adding that the defence has also requested for Saiful’s DNA samples to be sent in for independent testing.
The prosecution, said Amer, must give a statement of favourable facts and evidence no less than four weeks before the trial begins as this is the policy of the AG’s Chambers.