At the Sessions Court No 1 today (Updated with audio statement by Anwar)
Posted September 10, 2008on:
When the case was read out to him again, Anwar replied boldly,”Tidak bersalah, Yang Arif! Ini khianat …fitnah…jahat…melibatkan ramai orang, (Yang Arif)!”.
The session went on for only about half an hour with the judge postponing the case to a new date 24th September 2008 for lack of procedural matter by the prosecution as applied by the defense team led by
Hj Sulaiman Abdullah.
Reps from the British and American Embassy being asked to record their names and IDs, as did the rest of us, before entering the court.
Anwar coming out of the courtroom, meeting the press outside.
Anwar’s press statement after the court session; please click below:
Others who came to the court:
The people outside the court building shouted Reformasi! when they finally saw Anwar.
Lawyer argues against transfer of sodomy case
Beh Lih Yi | Sep 10, 08 4:30pm Malaysiakini.com
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s legal team has objected to the prosecution’s move to transfer his sodomy case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.
Anwar’s case, which was fixed for mention today, was adjourned to Sept 24 following a dispute over a certificate to transfer the case signed by attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.
The court will hear arguments from both parties on the validity of the certificate.
puravalen pc on missing pi balasubramaniam 180708 haji sulaimanBefore the 30-minute proceedings ended this morning, Anwar’s lead counsel Sulaiman (right) told the court that his team would oppose to the transfer of the case.
He said the current Sessions Court has everything that it requires to continue hearing the case, and stressed that Judge SM Komathy Suppiah has competence to hear the matter.
“We see absolutely no need for the transfer,” said the senior lawyer.
Hearing this, Komathy smiled and replied: “I have been serving for 26 years.”
Anwar claimed trial on Aug 7 to a charge of allegedly sodomising his former aide, 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. He could face a 20-year jail term if found guilty. He is out on a RM20,000 personal bond.
the charge against anwar ibrahim sodomy allegation trial 070808At the onset of the proceedings, Anwar – who wore a black suit and was seated in the dock – denied the charge again when it was read out to him.
“I am not guilty. This is an act of treachery and slander in which a lot of people are involved,” he told the court.
Sulaiman voiced displeasure over the prosecution’s delay in informing his nine-member defence team of their intentions. He said it is a norm among counsel to provide such information, as a professional courtesy.
He said the prosecution had been indecisive up till yesterday afternoon as to whether it would apply for the transfer of the case to the High Court. This, he said, left the defence team with no time to prepare its arguments.
Sulaiman added that he had only obtained the prosecution’s confirmation about transferring the case 10 minutes before the proceedings started today.
Responding, the prosecution led by AG’s Chambers prosecution head Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden said the certificate was only signed yesterday evening, after the prosecution had “mulled over this for some time”.
“It is not our intention to deprive the defence of anything, we will try our best to ensure a smooth trial,” he said, also pointing out that the prosecution had indicated on Aug 7 – when Anwar was charged – that they might ask for a transfer.
Sulaiman rebutted: “This is just like a young lady who says ‘I may marry you’. The prosecution is saying ‘we may transfer the case’ […] We will hold them (the prosecution) to the highest prosecutorial standard and courtesy among counsel.”
anwar sodomy 2 trial session court 100908 transfer paperThe one-page certificate did not state why the prosecution was asking for a transfer, but Yusof explained later that it is because the case is high-profile in nature.
“It because of the person (Anwar), the local and international interest,” he told reporters.
Sulaiman rebutted the reason.
“Is he (Yusof) saying that this judge is not qualified to decide a high-profile case of international interest? She (Komathy) can speak English,” he told reporters.
“It is not the case that only High Court judges can speak English so that the international press can understand. This judge is more than capable.”
Sulaiman also stressed that the hearing of sodomy cases usually starts at the Sessions Court.
“How can the identity of the accused be sufficient to justify a transfer to the High Court? This is selective justice,” he added.
Anwar also criticised the prosecution’s eleventh-hour decision to transfer the case.
“Apparently it’s a trial by ambush. The prosecution team has no interest to proceed except for waiting for instructions from their political masters,” he told reporters outside the courtroom.
He appealed to the prosecution to handle the case with a clear conscience, especially in the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims, and not to resort to “political persecution”.
|Anwar’s case put off to Sept 24 Malaysiakini.com|
|Beh Lih Yi & Andrew Ong | Sep 10, 08 8:25am|
|Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case was today adjourned to Sept 24 following a dispute over a certificate signed by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail to transfer the case to the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
When the case was called up this morning at 9.58am before Sessions judge SM Komathy Suppiah, the prosecution submitted the certificate for the case to be transferred to the high court.
However, Anwar’s lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah disputed the certificate (see photo) as it was signed by Abdul Gani.
Sulaiman contended that Abdul Gani should not be involved in the case as he was a party to a complaint lodged by Anwar for having allegedly tampering with evidence in 1998.
“We have been categorically informed that the attorney-general plays absolutely no part in this prosecution,” said Sulaiman, adding that this was based on a media statement made by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“So far we haven’t read any statement from the AG’s Chambers to correct the prime minister on that (decision),” the lawyer told the court, which was packed with PKR leaders and supporters, as well as Anwar and his family.
The premier had said that Abdul Gani and Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan would not be directly involved in Anwar’s sodomy case following Anwar’s police report against the duo for tampering with evidence in his court cases 10 years ago.
Sulaiman argued that the signing of the letter showed the AG was involved in the prosecution.
“In order to sign the certificate, he needs to apply his mind on the circumstances of the case and consider them; he is not a chief clerk just to sign (documents),” the veteran lawyer said to the laughter from court.
Legal procedures cited
The six-member prosecution team, led by the AG’s Chambers prosecution head Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden countered that the certificate, however, could only be signed by the AG under the laws.
Sulaiman had also earlier pointed out that, under Section 418A of the Criminal Procedure Code and Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, such power could only be exercised by Abdul Gani.
At this juncture, Justice Komathy suggested a two week-adjournment to allow both parties time to research on the matter and to submit arguments, to which Sulaiman agreed.
Komathy then quipped, telling Yusof: “I have read many law reports in which the high court and court of appeal judges have paid tribute to you as a very fair deputy public prosecutor (DPP), so I trust you will not have objection to this postponement.”
Yusof however objected to the timeframe, to much annoyance of a visibly upset Sulaiman.
Sulaiman (in a raised voice): That’s why I keep on telling him (Yusof) to tell us in advance whether the case will be transferred. Don’t catch me by surprise.
Yusof: Two weeks is too long. This is a public interest case.
Judge: If you say this is a public interest case, then all parties need to be given sufficient time (to study the matter). I am going to grant the two-week adjournment. All the judges have said you are a fair DPP.
The judge then teased Yusof as to whether he was merely raising the objection “for record purposes”.
She later fixed Sept 24 to hear arguments from both parties over the validity of the certificate signed by Abdul Gani.
Bail issue not raised in court
Anwar had arrived at the Jalan Duta court complex with his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, at 9.30am and were greeted by about 100 opposition supporters.
They were accompanied by two of their daughters, Nurul Izzah and Nurul Nuha, as well as lawyer Sankara Nair.
Anwar and Wan Azizah, who were surrounded by a large group of journalists and photographers, slowly made their way into the courtroom, where the hearing was due to begin at 10am.
The police had heightened security around the court complex, with at least five Federal Reserve Unit trucks seen on standby.
Journalists were asked to register at three places before being allowed into the courtroom. The police also used a metal detector to check those entering the courtroom.
Anwar had claimed trial on Aug 7 when charged with sodomising his former aide, 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
If convicted, he could face a 20-year jail term if found guilty. He is currently out on a RM20,000 personal bond.
His supporters had feared that his bail could be revoked today, resulting in Anwar being sent to prison while awaiting his trial – a process that could take months. However, the issue was not raised in court today.
Anwar, recently elected the Permatang Pauh MP, has claimed he is on track to take over the federal government on Tuesday, with the aid of several defections from Barisan Nasional to his Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Yesterday, though, he said the deadline may be deferred, given that BN had sent more than 40 backbenchers to Taiwan for an agricultural study-tour.