Defence attacks Saiful's credibility

Defence attacks Saiful's credibility
Fighting on: Anwar leaving the courtroom in Putrajaya. With him is lawyer Gobind Singh Deo.

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - The defence in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appeal hearing started by questioning the credibility of the alleged sodomy victim, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Lead counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram submitted to the Federal Court that the trial judge had erred when he held that Mohd Saiful's testimony was credible.

"Mohd Saiful had testified that there was penetration and that the act was vigorous and fast, causing him to suffer pain.

"If that is correct, then a lubricant could not have been used because the very purpose of it is to facilitate penetration without pain," he said.

However, he said, Mohd Saiful had earlier testified that he himself bought the lubricant before proceeding to the condominium where the alleged sodomy happened.

"A man forcibly sodomised would hardly buy (lubricating) gel," Sri Ram said.

Also, he said, medical evidence confirmed that there was no trauma or injury to Mohd Saiful's anus.

He said the lubricant - marketed as K-Y Jelly - was an important exhibit but had only appeared during the examination-in-chief by the prosecution on Mohd Saiful, 27.

He also noted that the lubricant was not mentioned in the list of exhibits recovered by the prosecution from Mohd Saiful.

"The absence of the lubricant from the list casts serious doubt on the credibility of Mohd Saiful and a lack of credibility in the prosecution's case and the entire investigation," he said.

Mohd Saiful, a former aide to Anwar, had also not mentioned the use of K-Y Jelly in his police report, he added.

Sri Ram said that when asked by defence lawyer Karpal Singh the first time whether the K-Y Jelly was an afterthought, Mohd Saiful agreed but changed his mind and disagreed after he asked for the question to be repeated.

He also noted that Mohd Saiful's conduct after the alleged sodomy was not consistent with his testimony.

He said Mohd Saiful met Anwar the day after the alleged incident for a discussion and then went for tea with him at Anwar's house.

"His conduct on June 27, 2008, one day after the incident is particularly telling. He identified himself in the photograph taken at the tea session.

"Looking at the picture, the demeanour of the first witness (Mohd Saiful) is significant," Sri Ram submitted.

He said Mohd Saiful hardly looked like a person who was under threat or a person acting out of fear and that this was missed by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Sri Ram also submitted two pairs of underpants belonging to Mohd Saiful - one which he wore during the alleged incident and the other when he made the police report.

These, he said, had not been highlighted during the hearing in the Court of Appeal.

The underwear worn on the day that Mohd Saiful was allegedly sodomised was forensically useless because when recovered, it had already been washed by the mother of Mohd Saiful's fiancee, he said.

But forensic found semen stains on the underpants that Mohd Saiful wore on the day he made his police report, that is June 28, 2008.

"According to the prosecution, the stains came from the appellant (Anwar), but the underwear was not the one worn by Mohd Saiful at the material time. Therefore, Mohd Saiful's evidence is rendered unreliable.

"All these matters were completely overlooked by the High Court. The Court of Appeal found no mention of the underwear in the (High Court) judgment at first instance.

"Neither did it find this in the judgment convicting the appellant," he said.

Submissions continue today.

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