PUTRAJAYA — October 12, 2016: The Federal Court was informed today that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) never interfered with the court’s decision to uphold the conviction of and jail term for opposition politician Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sodomising his former aide.
Apart from the PMO having no prior knowledge of the decision, the court is also totally independent.
According to Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md. Shahid, the Trials and Appellate head of the Attorner-General’s Chambers, any insinuation and innuendo that the PMO knew about the decision beforehand are thus wrong, baseless and irresponsible and fortified by the fact that Anwar was acquitted by the High Court.
Kamal is the leading the prosecution in the hearing of Anwar’s review application to set aside the conviction and jail term for sodomising Mohd.
Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The court decision was made on February 10, 2015.
Kamal submitted that there was absolutely no communication between PMO and the Federal Court, prior or subsequent to the decision.
“In the affidavit-in-reply affirmed by Datuk Seri Tengku Shariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, who was the director of the media division at the PMO, it is explained that it is a normal practice for the PMO to issue an immediate response by way of a media statement,” said Kamal.
Tengku Shariffuddin had filed the affidavit to reply to Anwar’s affidavit to support his application.
The appeal by Anwar, now serving his jail term at Sungai Buloh prison, is being heard by a five-man bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin. The others are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin and Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim.
On the conduct of lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdulah who had led the prosecution’s appeals at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, which discussed evidence in camera proceedings during a road show, Kamal argued that it had not influenced the apex court’s decision.
“If at all, there was any such misconduct, which I say is not the case, that is water under the bridge.”
Relating to the integrity of evidence on the carpets, KY jelly and DNA raised by Anwar’s lawyer Datuk Sri Gopal Sri Ram, Kamal replied that the
points had no relevance in the review application.
Sri Ram had argued that the PMO’s statement which was issued 15 minutes after the decision showed that there was a political conspiracy against
his client and that the PMO had a personal interest in the case, adding that it was not a practice for the PMO to make media statements or
comments in a criminal case.
The panel reserved its judgment to a date to be fixed later.
Anwar also wants the court to re-hear his appeal on its merits. — Bernama