Semen samples in Anwar's sodomy trial not tampered with

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arrives at the court of appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 6, 2014.

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - Deputy public prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted at the Court of Appeal that there was no tampering of the semen exhibits in the sodomy trial of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

During the first day of hearing of the prosecution's appeal yesterday before a three-man bench led by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, Shafee said the trial judge made a mistake when he concluded there was tampering of the semen samples when there was no such evidence.

Shafee said the specimens in the receptacles in the plastic bag were placed and sealed in separate bottles. He said Prosecution Witness (PW) 5's (a chemist) testimony that the seals were intact when he received the specimens from PW25 (Investigating Officer Superintendent Jude Blacious Pereira) was never challenged during the trial.

Shafee said Anwar's notice of alibi that he was not at the Desa Damansara condominium on the day of the alleged incident but was instead at a next door unit was "licik" (sneaky).

"They (the defence) say there were 14 witnesses, but none was called to support the alibi."

On an allegation by Anwar that there was a conspiracy between Pereira and the chemists to plant semen inside complainant Mohamad Saiful Bukhari's rectum, he said no such evidence were presented during the trial.

"Anwar refused to give his sample. How could the semen get into Saiful's rectum?"

He said if the contention was true, Pereira must have obtained a specific semen sample, which would degrade within four to five days. He told the judges they probably have watched National Geographic and understood his point.

Judge Datuk Aziah Ali responded with: "We watch CSI (Crime Scene Investigation)," prompting laughter from those present.

Shafee said the trial judge in the sodomy trial, for reasons only known to himself, adopted the argument that the exhibits had been compromised.

He said the judge had not considered the fact that Anwar refused to testify from the witness box and instead gave a statement from the dock, which mostly attacked the judiciary and the government, and amounted to a gross abuse of the court process.

Karpal Singh, Anwar's counsel, replied it was perfectly within the legal right of his client to issue statements from the dock if he wished.

Ram Karpal Singh, also acting for Anwar, said there was a possibility the semen samples via the rectal swabs taken from Anwar were not the original ones. "This is because there was no degradation of the samples," he said, referring to the testimony of two chemists who testified for the prosecution during the sodomy trial.

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