Anwar loses Sodomy 2 conviction challenge

 |Mar 12, 2018
Former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. – File pic credit The Rakyat Post.

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has lost his legal bid to strike out a second sodomy conviction from his records.

Malay Mail Online reported High Court judge Datuk Nik Hasmat dismissing the de facto PKR leader’s legal challenge against the 2015 conviction and sentence.

The judge called it a “backdoor attempt” to secure his release from prison.

“To me, this is a backdoor attempt. Sorry I have to say it. If it’s not backdoor attempt, it is a veiled attempt,” she said, adding that the Federal Court had previously affirmed the conviction in February 2015 and sentenced him to five years imprisonment.

Anwar is serving a five-year jail term after losing his appeal at the Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015, to set aside his conviction on a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

Anwar was also ordered to pay M5,000 in cost.

The court ruled that Anwar had failed to name the officer accused of obtaining a conviction against him by fraud.

“There is a need to name the particular officer under the Government Proceedings Act under his statement of claim so the government will be answer the allegation on fraud.”

Nik Hasmat also questioned Anwar’s complaint, adding that he was initially acquitted by the High Court, before the conviction was overturned at the appeals’ stages.

“The alleged fraud was only bought up few years later,” she said.

Anwar said he was disappointed by the decision but “not surprised”, Free Malaysia Today reported.

“I was looking for one judge that has the courage to respect the rule of law, and one avenue to see justice is done.

“Otherwise we wait for GE14,” said Anwar as he was escorted back to court by prison wardens.

In his suit filed last April, Anwar said the guilty verdict should be set aside as it was based on perjured evidence by Saiful.

Anwar said the prosecution was aware that Saiful was an untruthful witness, and had fabricated false evidence in the form of an alleged DNA sample.

Anwar said the government had fraudulently presented Saiful as the main prosecution witness, adding that the latter’s evidence was perjured and the act of sodomy had never taken place.

As such, Anwar said the judgments of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court must be set aside as provided under Section 44 of the Evidence Act.

Meanwhile, Putrajaya today confirmed that Anwar will be released on June 8, the date given by the Prisons Department.

In a reply to Gooi Hsiao-Leung (PKR-Alor Setar) in Dewan Rakyat, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the date of Anwar’s release is calculated based on the Prison Act 1995 and the Prisons Regulations 2000, which allow early release for Anwar after a one-third remission of his prison sentence.

However, Zahid said the date could still be changed, Free Malaysia Today reported.

“The sentence and release date can still change if a prisoner violates prison rules leading to the disqualification of his remission under the Prisons Regulations,” Zahid said in his written reply.

Early this year, Prisons Department director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar said Anwar would be released on June 8, based on the calculation of the days he spent in jail under his sentence in accordance with Section 44 of the Prison Act (1995) and Rule No. 43 (1)(a) of the Prisons Regulations.

Anwar’s actual release date falls on June 10, but as it is a Sunday and the preceding day a Saturday, he would be released two days earlier on Friday, a working day.