Anwar trial: A-G mulls over contempt issue

Anwar trial: A-G mulls over contempt issue

PUTRAJAYA - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could face contempt proceedings for allegedly scandalising the Federal Court.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muham­mad Shafee Abdullah said he was told by the Attorney-General to notify the court about several articles, attributed to Anwar, which leaned towards contempt.

Anwar was quoted in the reports as saying he would probably be acquitted if he were to quit politics.

"He (Anwar) suggested that this court is not independent and that it works with the Government to ensure he retires," Muhammad Shafee told Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, who is chairing a five-man panel to hear the appeal in the Sodomy II case.

"You can say the court is not fair but you cannot say the court is corrupt and an instrument of the Executive to send him to jail," he said.

Anwar's lead counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram asked Justice Arifin whether the judge wanted him to address the alleged contempt issue.

Justice Arifin replied they would proceed with the hearing.

Speaking to reporters later, Mu­­hammad Shafee said Anwar must not scandalise the court by implying it would be dishonest and biased as long as he was in politics.

He said Anwar must inform the court if he actually made those comments or whether they were wrongly reported.

He said he did not make any application at this stage because he did not want it to affect the hearing proper.

Anwar was charged with sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, then 23, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

Anwar, 67, is appealing against his conviction and five-year jail term imposed by the Court of Appeal on March 7.

The prosecution is seeking a longer jail term.

Earlier, Anwar's co-counsel Ram­karpal Singh said his client should be acquitted because the case was riddled with doubt.

The material samples were contaminated and their descriptions did not match their history, thus casting doubt on their integrity, he said.

Replying to the prosecution's submissions on the seventh day of appeal hearing, Ramkarpal said Mohd Saiful was not a convincing witness.

"He could not have been sodomised because there was no evidence that there was penetration.

"The fact that (Anwar's) semen was found in his anus cannot, in the circumstances of this case, mean that he was penetrated as there are very serious doubts as to whether that semen was actually retrieved from Mohd Saiful on June 28, 2008."

Ramkarpal said the prosecution had failed to explain the identity of a third party's DNA (Allele 18) found on three items taken from Anwar's cell and semen from Mohd Saiful.

He argued that the prosecution could not rely on "innocent contamination" on the existence of Allele 18 by contending that Pusrawi Hospital doctor Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, who examined Mohd Saiful, could have been the source of it for failing to wear gloves during the examination.

He said the Court of Appeal had committed a miscarriage of justice on the issue of contamination of samples.

"If samples were collected at the same time, it will show some form of degradation but how is it possible for some samples to be degraded and some samples were clean."

Ramkarpal also argued that there was no doubt that DNA could be retrieved from years ago, such as in the case of pre-historic dinosaurs and their fossils.

"The DNA was not from the anus of a dinosaur," he said, causing laughter in the courtroom.

He also said a doctor, who was merely involved in packing the samples, had testified that there was penetration based merely on a chemist's report.

"This doctor did not even touch Mohd Saiful but offered evidence in court which has nothing to do with him," he said.

Sri Ram will continue with his reply today.

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