Malaysia opposition leader Anwar's sodomy appeal hearing extended again to Nov 3

Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (left) and his lawyer N. Surendran (right) arrive at the federal court in Putrajaya on Oct 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (left) and his lawyer N. Surendran (right) arrive at the federal court in Putrajaya on Oct 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

THE PROTRACTED hearing of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's appeal to quash his sodomy conviction has been extended once again to next Monday to give the prosecution more time to argue its case.

"I want more time to prepare a skeletal submission to navigate you through my submission," lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told reporters outside the Palace of Justice in Purajaya on Thursday, according to The Star.

"I only received the defence's submission on Tuesday and due to its lengthy volume, only completed it this morning at 4am."

Mr Shafee added he also needed to consider new points that have been added into the petition of appeal by Mr Anwar, and will submit the prosecution's arguments on Friday.

The closing statements by both sides will be heard next Monday, Nov 3, The Malaysian Insider reported.

The Federal Court had previously set Oct 28 and 29 to hear Mr Anwar's appeal, but later extended it by two days.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Mr Anwar of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100 per cent certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on March 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the high court's judgement and found Mr Anwar guilty of sodomising Mr Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.

Mr Anwar was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for the offence allegedly committed on June 26, 2008.

The charge under Section 377B of the Penal Code, carries a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping, upon conviction.

This is the second sodomy case against Mr Anwar. He was previously convicted in 2000 for sexually assaulting his former family driver before being freed from jail in 2004 after winning an appeal.