Anwar sues Malaysian government over sodomy conviction

Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim has filed a new legal challenge against his conviction for sodomy.
Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim has filed a new legal challenge against his conviction for sodomy. PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Jailed Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim on Monday (April 17) filed yet another legal challenge to his conviction for sodomy.

In the new legal action seeking his immediate release, Datuk Seri Anwar is suing the government on the grounds that his conviction was obtained by fraud.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader now wants a civil court to issue an order to invalidate the conviction.

Anwar said the government, named as the sole defendant in the civil suit, knew that his accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 31, was an untruthful witness and had given a false evidence in the Sodomy II trial.

The former Opposition leader filed the claim at the High Court registry Monday through his lawyers N.Surendran and Latheefa Koya.

Speaking to reporters here after the filing of the suit, Surendran said Anwar was seeking for his immediate release on the grounds that his conviction for sodomy was obtained through fraud.

He said Anwar contends that the conviction was obtained through perjured or false evidence, adding that the facts would be brought forward during the trial at the civil court.

"Anwar is an innocent man. We will prove his innocence in court," said Surendran at the court complex lobby where a group of PKR supporters had gathered.

He said he would meet a court registrar to fix an early date for the hearing and a certificate of urgency has been filed to expedite the court process.

Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, accompanied by their daughter Nurul Nuha, said the action was filed as "a day spent in jail is a cruelty for an innocent man".

In his statement of claim, Anwar said that Saiful gave perjured evidence which to the knowledge of the government was false.

"Yet, the defendant (Government) relied upon and perpetuated the perjury of Saiful to it's advantage.

"The defendant fabricated false evidence in the form of an alleged DNA sample and used it to support the perjured evidence of Saiful," said Anwar over the particulars of alleged fraud in his case.

In his court papers, Anwar said the fraud had caused his conviction for sodomy at the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014 when the prosecution appealed over his acquittal at the end of the defence case.

Anwar said he was also unsuccessful in his appeal at the Federal Court which had dismissed it on Feb 10, 2015.

Anwar had on Dec 14 last year, failed in his bid to review his Sodomy II conviction after the Federal Court dismissed his application.

On April 30, 2015, Anwar 69, filed an application to get a fresh panel of judges to review his conviction and five-year jail term for sodomy on grounds of injustice.

The Federal Court had upheld Anwar's conviction and five-year jail term for sodomising his former aide Saiful at Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Daman­sara on June 26, 2008.

Apart from costs and other relief, Anwar is claiming for the judgment of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court be set aside by virtue of Section 44 of the Evidence Act 1950 for fraud.