Monday, November 3, 2014

Sodomy II: Shafee challenges failure to cross-examine police over retrieval of items from Anwar's cell

The prosecution began the fifth day of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in the Federal Court against a sodomy conviction by submitting on three items seized from Anwar’s cell.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah questioned the defence’s failure to cross-examine the police over the recovery of the “Good Morning” towel, mineral water bottle and toothbrush taken from the cell occupied by the Opposition leader, when he was detained overnight at the city police headquarters.

Shafee said there was no issue of conspiracy as the police officers merely testified as to what they had seen with regard to those three items and did not add more stories to implicate Anwar.

“It is easy to say that I saw him drinking the water from the mineral water bottle or I saw him wiping his face or blowing his nose using the towel. None of the officers said this,” he argued.
The three items were used to obtain Anwar's DNA.

Anwar is appealing to set aside a five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

A five-member panel led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria resumed Monday to hear the prosecution’s submissions.

The panel had spent lat Tuesday to Thursday hearing from Anwar’s defence team led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on Mar 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s judgment and found Anwar guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples, which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.

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