PETALING JAYA - The Malaysian Bar has alleged that there are glaring anomalies in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial proceedings which are fuelling a perception that the former Opposition Leader had been persecuted.
In a statement, Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong said it was notable that although there appeared to have been some allegations of coercion by Anwar towards the complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in the court proceedings, Anwar was not charged under Section 377C of the Penal Code for forced sodomy or sodomy rape.
Leong said there was also the question of why Saiful, who was alleged to have been a participant in the act of sodomy, was not charged for abetment.
These glaring anomalies fuel a perception that Anwar was persecuted, and not prosecuted, Leong said.
He said that Anwar could be said to have been convicted of an offence with respect to a charge that seems, on its face, to be a victimless offence.
He said the Malaysian Bar had not yet had the opportunity to study the Federal Court's written grounds of judgment, and as such would not comment on the grounds for the court's decision.
He said that in any criminal trial and appeal, the accused need only raise a reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.
Where there is any such reasonable doubt, the accused must be acquitted.
The hearing of Anwar's appeal was extensively reported in the media, and the decision of the Federal Court has come as a surprise to many, said Leong.