Thursday, February 26, 2009

Anwar fails to stop trial from being moved to High Court


The High Court said it had the power to revise a decision of a subordinate court. -The Star/ANN -
Thu, Feb 26, 2009The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA : PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim suffered a setback when he failed to stop the prosecution from pursuing a revision to have his sodomy trial moved to the High Court.

The High Court yesterday dismissed Anwar's preliminary objection against the prosecution's application to have the Court revise the Sessions Court's decision to hear Anwar's case at the higher court.

Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, in delivering his decision, said under the Criminal Procedure Code, the High Court had the power to revise a decision of a subordinate court, and that the preliminary objection was premature.
"The preliminary objection is dismissed,' he said, adding that the prosecution could present their submissions on their revision application.

Anwar is on trial for allegedly sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in Bukit Damansara on June 26, last year.
On Nov 7, Sessions Court Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah ruled that a transfer certificate signed by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was invalid.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had earlier given an assurance that Abdul Gani and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan would not be involved in Anwar's second sodomy trial because Anwar claimed they had tampered with the evidence in his first sodomy trial 11 years ago.

However, Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden submitted that the Sessions Court had refused to transfer the case despite the law clearly stating that the Attorney-General had the power to transfer cases.

To make it worse, he said, the Sessions Court had conferred on an application that the Attorney-General's certificate was not valid, which is beyond her (Komathy's) jurisdiction.
In his rebuttal, Anwar's lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah said the Attorney-General held office at the pleasure of the Agong, which meant that he was subordinate to the executive.

"The Prime Minister was under urge to take executive action against the Attorney-General by promising that he would not be involved.

"This is not a normal case. The validity of the certificate is questioned not because of lack of power but because the person who signed it has been disqualified," he argued.
Earlier, Sulaiman withdrew the application to disqualify Mohd Yusof Zainal from the case, after the latter filed an affidavit stating that he had never seen Anwar's investigation papers on the "black-eye" incident 11 years ago.

On Feb 5, Anwar applied to the High Court to disqualify Mohd Yusof, claiming he was involved in the "black-eye" case as he was a representative for the Attorney-General Chambers then.
Sulaiman said that based on the affidavit, the defence no longer had grounds to disqualify the Solicitor-General.

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