Anwar Ibrahim dare not explain his sodomy charge in court

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arrives at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 6, 2014.

PUTRAJAYA - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not dare to take the witness' stand to explain his sodomy charge, the Court of Appeal heard.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argued that the evidence against Anwar was overwhelming and the Opposition leader ought to be found guilty of the sodomy charge.

"It is one appeal (against Anwar's acquittal from a sodomy charge) which is difficult to resist," he said.

He said Anwar would have a tough time defending himself against the charge and would not want to be cross-examined.

"The respondent (Anwar) has chosen a safe way - to give a statement from the dock. This is a classic bare denial. A bare denial after giving­ a notice of alibi," Muhammad Shafee argued yesterday before a three-man panel chaired by Justice Balia Yusof Wahi.

Two other judges on the panel are Justices Aziah Ali and Mohd Zawawi Salleh.

"The respondent (Anwar) took the sword to attack every witness but did not say attack me now. He hid behind the dock. He attacked the judge, the government, the prosecutor and everybody," Muhammad Shafee said.

Anwar was acquitted by the High Court on Jan 9, 2012 of a charge of allegedly sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

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

Muhammad Shafee said Anwar's statement from the dock was "crafted in a devious manner".

"Not a whisper of an alibi was produced. It is not made truthfully and when confronted with CCTV (recordings), they dropped the defence (of alibi)," he said.

At one point of Muhammad Shafee's submissions yesterday, Justice Balia asked the prosecutor what the alibi allegedly raised by Anwar was, to which Muhammad Shafee said: "He did not deny he was there (at the condominium). He could not have denied it as he was confronted with video clippings and so on."

Muhammad Shafee said there were CCTV recordings on the arrival and departure of Mohd Saiful and Anwar at the condominium unit, adding that the court should consider that there was no possibility for retired investiga­ting officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira to obtain Anwar's semen on his own.

"Where is he (Supt Jude) going to get the respondent's semen? Even an ordinary person will protect their semen, what more a dignitary who is claiming that the whole world is conspiring against him. He has to explain," he said.

However, Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh argued that it was his client's substantive right over the way he chose to give his defence by giving a statement from the dock.

"The prosecution should not be allowed to make any remarks to poison the mind of the court," he said.

The appeal hearing continues today.

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