Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anwar is vindicated

In a surprising twist, Anwar Ibrahim was today acquitted by the Kuala Lumpur High Court of sodomising his former 23-year-old aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

In discharging the 64-year-old PKR de facto leader, Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah cast doubt on the DNA evidence provided by the prosecution.

"After going through the evidence, I cannot be 100 percent certain that the evidence can be accepted as there could have been tampering.
"Hence, the court is reluctant to convict on such corroboration of
evidence from (Saiful) and the accused is acquitted."
NONEOn hearing the surprise verdict, the courtroom exploded in jubilation with shouts of Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) and Allahu Akbar, while those standing at the side embraced one another in joy.
About 75 people were seated in the punlic gallery, and about the same number standing.

Among those present were PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and his son and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Others present included PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, its vice-president Mahfuz Omar , PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, national laureatte A Samad Said and Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2) president Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Anwar's wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail cried and hugged her elated husband.
A total of 27 prosecution witness and seven defence witness
testified in the trial.
In an immediate reaction, Anwar thanked his lawyers.
"I'm finally vindicated after the smearing of my character. I'm thankful to Wan Azizah and the team of lawyers led by Karpal Singh."
He also thanked the Pakatan Rakyat leaders for their support.

NONE"We want to continue on the reform agenda, fighting corruption and (for) freedom of the press."

Sodomy complainant Saiful tweeted: "If not in this world, in the next. I accept fate, will remain calm and continue praying."
Anwar was represented by a team led by Karpal, while outgoing solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden (right) led the prosecution.

Anwar had been charged, under ection 377B of the Penal Code, with sodomising Saiful at the Desa Damansara condominium between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
What happened to truthful and credible witness?

While Justice Zabidin took one hour and 50 minutes to call for Anwar’s defence last May 16, his deliver of the verdict today took less than five minutes, with no written grounds given.

In ordering Anwar to enter his defence at the end of the prosecution's case, the judge had described Saiful as a credible and truthful witness.

Anwar had claimed then that Justice Zabidin had, in his lengthy presentation when ordering Anwar to make his defence, had pre-judged him and had gone beyond the facts as to whether there was a prima facie case.

dr brian mcdonald sodomy llSo in the end, the evidence gained from Anwar’s hired specialist forensic pathologist Dr David Wells and DNA specialist Dr Brian McDonald (right) helped raise the doubts that threw out the case against the Pakatan leader.

During the trial, it was reported that the samples were retrieved from Saiful’s anus 56 hours after the alleged sodomy incident, with the complainant testifying he had not defecated for two days after being sodomised.

McDonald described the finding ofpristine semen samples obtained as fairly odd, despite being retrieved from Saiful's anus 56 hours after the alleged sodomy, and despite not being kept in a freezer, as admitted by the three doctors who examined Saiful.

The samples was kept by investigating officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira, and in his testimony he told the court that he removed the samples and repackaged them.

First of its kind in legal history

Criminal law practitioner, Baljit Singh Sidhu told Malaysiakini that this is an interesting development in criminal legal jurisprudence.

“This, is by virtue of the unsworn testimony by Anwar (in his defence) enabled victory in the case. The weight attached to an unsworn testimony is minimal, compared to a sworn testimony.

“This is the first development of its kind in a case, resulting in an acquittal,” Baljit said.

Anwar in his defence on Aug 22, had testified from the dock, and he denied having sexual relations with Saiful.

The PKR de-facto leader also told the court that the case against home was a political conspiracy against him and come what may, he would not surrender to such tactics.

[Source: Mkini]

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