Anwar sodomy trial: Federal court adjourns hearing till Friday

Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (centre) waves to photographers as he arrives at the federal court in Putrajaya on Oct 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (centre) waves to photographers as he arrives at the federal court in Putrajaya on Oct 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Federal Court has adjourned the hearing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's appeal against his sodomy conviction till Friday.

The court allowed head of prosecution team Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's request for the prosecution to present its arguments on Friday morning, after Anwar's defence team wrapped up their submissions.

Earlier on Thursday, the defence team referred to several issues of contamination in the DNA sample during the third day of his appeal against his sodomy conviction.

His co-counsel Ramkarpal Singh said there was possibly another contributor to the DNA sample.

He added that the chemist did not report it, even though the amount traced was enough to be reported under the guidelines of the Chemist Department.

"This all rang alarm bells, if I may say, for any scientist," said Ramkarpal.

He said the Court of Appeal had misdirected itself, by not taking into account that the prosecution had no argument in rebuttal to the contamination.

On Wednesday, the defence contended that the Male Y DNA profile in the sodomy case did not belong to Anwar.

His co-counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo submitted that DNA profiling was obtained from three items - a toothbrush, a towel and a mineral water bottle - which were seized from Anwar after he was detained overnight in a lockup of the city police headquarters from July 16, 2008.

Sangeet said it was the prosecution's case that the DNA found on these items taken from the lockup matched the DNA found in Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's rectum.

"But there is no evidence of whose DNA it is. So, they called it Male Y. The question is who is Male Y?" she said on the second day of the appeal hearing in the Federal Court.

Sangeet argued that it was impossible to link Male Y to Anwar.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 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 Anwar guilty of sodomising 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.

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 Anwar.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.