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Anwar Sodomy Trial Stays In Sessions Court

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has won the first battle in his Sodomy II trial.

Anwar IbrahimToday, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge S M Komathy Suppiah ruled the certificate signed by the Attorney-General requesting the case be transferred to the High Court was invalid.

This will give a fillip to Anwar’s fight against the sodomy charge which he has denied and suggested is politically-motivated.

His case will now be heard in the Kuala Lumpur Criminal Sessions Court.

“This case raises a unique situation where it is evident that any involvement by the AG in this case would seriously undermine public confidence in the administration of criminal justice,” she said in declaring Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s certificate of transfer to the High Court invalid.

On Sep 10, the prosecution had produced this certificate but the defence objected on the basis of the promise given by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi that the AG would not be involved.

Outside the court, Anwar said that he was pleased that Komathy took pains to hear arguments from both sides and kept to her principles.

“At first I was afraid that it might be a repeat of 1998,” he said referring to his first sodomy conviction which he maintains, as he does with the ongoing case, was trumped up and politically motivated.

Komathy’s grounds of judgment were two-fold, citing legitimate expectation and rule of bias.

“The Prime Minister as the head of the Executive… gave his word and intended it to be taken seriously. That the office of the AG also took it seriously is evident from the fact that the Solicitor General led the prosecution team,” Komathy said, referring to Datuk Idris Harun.

“That assurance, in my view, created a legitimate and reasonable expectation in the accused and the public that Gani would not be personally involved in this case,” she ruled.

Komathy also said that it must be accepted that “there is no love lost between the accused and the AG” as “the defence contends that the AG is in a position of conflict of interest and is thereby disqualified from this case” and with the prosecution not refuting the alleged conflict of interest, the AG’s involvement would contravene the rule of natural justice and give rise to bias.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden told reporters that the prosecution would refer to a High Court judge to have a judicial review to revise the ruling.

The sodomy case will now be mentioned on Nov 14 where a date for hearing will be discussed.

Anwar has claimed trial to the charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

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