Anwar trial: Saiful a worthless witness, says Sri Ram

Anwar trial: Saiful a worthless witness, says Sri Ram

PUTRAJAYA - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should be "forgiven" for raising a conspiracy theory on the latest sodomy charge against him, the Federal Court heard.

Lead defence counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram summed up why Anwar could be thinking that he was being forced out of politics.

"He was charged with a similar offence (Sodomy I) and convicted," Sri Ram said, reminding that it was an apex court which later allowed the PKR leader's appeal in a 2-1 decision in 2004 on the charge of sodomising his family driver Azizan Abu Bakar.

"A few years later, he (Anwar) was arrested for a similar offence. He takes the view that he is being haunted by the prosecution on the strength of a witness whose evidence cannot stand scrutiny," argued Sri Ram.

He described Mohd Saiful as "a broken tree, a worthless witness and a man without credibility".

"In accordance with several principles in decided cases, once credibility is lacking, corroboration is irrelevant even if it is ample.

"There was no necessity for the trial judge to look for corroboration," he said, arguing that the trial judge had not sufficiently evaluated Mohd Saiful's evidence.

Sri Ram said a photograph of Mohd Saiful serving tea in Anwar's house the day after the alleged sodomy incident should have been accepted as evidence by the court.

"Photographs can now be snapped with a mobile phone," he said, adding that Mohd Saiful had also admitted his presence there.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah then sought permission to address the court on the difference between consent and submission, saying that he had provided 14 bundles of documents for the hearing.

To this, Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria assured that the panel would read the case laws provided by him.

The others in the panel are Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Justices Abdull Hamid Embong, Suriyadi Halim Omar and Ramly Ali.

Justice Arifin reserved the court's verdict to a date to be fixed later, attributing this to the lengthy submissions and case laws to digest.

Anwar, 67, was charged with sodomising Mohd Saiful, then 23, at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

He is appealing against his conviction and five-year jail term imposed by the Court of Appeal on March 7, while the prosecution is appealing for a longer jail term.

In his decision, trial judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah had ruled that the court could not be 100 per cent certain, after going through the evidence, that the integrity of the DNA samples had not been compromised.

In the 85-page written judgment, the Court of Appeal had ruled that Anwar's defence by making a statement from the dock was a mere denial.

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