PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal sentenced opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to five years imprisonment for sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
The court allowed Anwar to post RM10,000 bail by Monday as condition for his stay of application of his 5-year jail term.
He was earlier convicted of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
The three-man Court of Appeal bench, headed by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, delivered the unanimous decision to a packed courtroom at 5pm today.
Balia, speaking on behalf of the whole panel, ruled that the trial judge failed to judicially appreciate the evidence and give proper weight to prosecution witness testimonies.
“PW25(Prosecution Witness 25 investigating Officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira) had merely cut open P27(the plastic) to remove the receptacles(containing the semen samples) to be put into separate envelopes.
“It is beyond dispute the tampering is only to the plastic and this is supported by PW25.
The receptacles were intact. If they had been tampering, the (semen)samples were undisturbed,” Balia said.
Balia said the court is of the view that the trial judge had erred in giving weight to DW2(Defence Witness 2) and DW4 that seemed to be armchair experts.
“We allow the appeal and set aside the High Court judgement,” Balia said before ruling that Anwar is found guilty of the offence.
As voices began rising in the public gallery, Anwar’s counsel Karpal Singh told the court that the appeal process seemed to have been rushed.
“We need a week or so(to prepare mitigation for a lenient sentence). Every opportunity should be given to my client,” Karpal said in applying for a week’s time to prepare mitigation.
Deputy public prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the court the prosecution opposes the respondent Anwar’s application because the appeal had been delayed since July.
“We have been waiting for so long. I submit we should hear submission for mitigation today,” Shafee said.
Shafee said that despite the conviction and sentencing, Anwar will surely file an appeal.
“It is the respondent’s own fault that we are put in the position today,” Shafee said.
Karpal then said Shafee speaks with a forked tongue and said mitigation is an integral part of trial.
Shafee then cut off Karpal by shouting,”I have understanding…”
Balia then sternly ordered all parties to behave.
“I have stated all along for parties to behave,” Balia rebuked the parties involved.
Shafee then reminded the court that all parties had been given adequate time and that he himself had been at court at 9am on every proceeding.
“I am sure Yang Arif(Your Honour) knows this,” Shafee said.
Balia then told the respondent that the court will give him one hour to prepare mitigation.
The panel then stood down to allow Anwar to prepare for mitigation.
The three-man Court of Appeal bench is also comprised of Datuk Aziah Ali and Datuk Mohd Malawi Salleh.
Counsel Ram Karpal Singh and Sangeet Kaur Deo acted for respondent Anwar.
On Aug 7, 2008 at the Sessions Court, Anwar, 67, claimed trial to sodomising Saiful, 29, at Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara condominium, No. 99, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26 the same year.
The offence is punishable with imprisonment up to 20 years and whipping under Section 377B of the Penal Code.
The High Court ordered Anwar to enter his defence on May 16, 2011. He was later acquitted and discharged on Jan 9, 2012.
The prosecution filed an appeal against the verdict on Jan 20, 2012.
* So he won’t make it for Kajang poll, and what now -another by elections~Permatang Pauh?