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Jumaat, 7 Mac 2014

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Malaysia Sodomy Case Flawed from Day One

Posted: 07 Mar 2014 05:31 AM PST

Asia Sentinel

The charges against Anwar seemed cooked up and malicious, but government prosecutors pressed ahead anyway  

Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy II trial, which ran almost two years before ending in 2012, was condemned internationally by legal scholars and human rights activists.

He was eventually acquitted for lack of evidence only to have an appeals court reverse that decision, ruling in favor of a government appeal on Friday. He was sentenced to five years in prison but is free on bail pending appeal. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia.

The sudden reversal on Friday shocked political observers and the general public.

Sordid and Unbelievable
The story began on June 28, 2008 when a then-24-year-old aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhairy Azlan, made the sodomy accusation against Anwar, who had  had led the three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition to a historic sweep of five Malaysian states, winning 82 parliamentary seats in general elections and breaking the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition’s two-thirds majority hold on parliament.

Despite an offer to appear voluntarily at the police station to deal with the charges, the opposition leader was arrested at his home on July 16 of that year by a contingent of 10 carloads of police commandos and was locked up overnight in a Kuala Lumpur jail.

The trial, which began in February 2010, was marred by the introduction of a mountain of questionable evidence, egregious prosecutorial errors and a long series of prejudicial rulings by High Court Judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohamad Diah.

From the very beginning, doubts began to surface. To start with, Saiful belatedly sought to get doctors to certify that he had been sodomized 48 hours after the alleged encounter. He first went to a private hospital where a doctor found no evidence of penetration and told him to go to a government hospital. At the first government hospital, doctors also told him they had found no evidence of tearing or scarring that would have indicated his anus had been penetrated. He was forced to go to a third government hospital where he finally found a physician willing to say the act had taken place.

Political connections
Saiful acknowledged in court that he had met with then-Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, on June 24, 2008, two days before the alleged sodomy took place and on other occasions with Rosmah’s close confidant, the former track star Mumtaz Jaafar. Neither the prime minister nor his wife nor Mumtaz was called to the stand to explain why they met with Saiful.

There were many questions about the DNA, which was allegedly taken from Saiful's rectum 90 hours after the reported act took place. He claimed not to have eaten, drunk nor gone to the bathroom for that entire period.

The evidence was stored in an unguarded police office. Government laboratory technicians testified that as many as 11 different DNA traces had been found in Saiful's rectum. At one point Zabidin ruled that the DNA was too doubtful to be admitted, only to have the prosecution appeal, at which point the judge reversed himself, leading to charges he had been coerced.

There were even questions whether Saiful had actually met with Anwar on the date he allegedly was sodomized. Although cameras showed him in the lift of the building where the offence allegedly took place, Anwar said he was meeting with a group of economists in the condo at the time and that Saiful had not appeared in the room.

Saiful also acknowledged meeting secretly twice with Rodwan Mohd Yusof, a senior assistant police commissioner, before the alleged offense took place. Rodwan became famous, or infamous, in Anwar’s 1998 Sodomy I trial when he was found to have illegally removed Anwar’s DNA samples from forensic custody and planted them on a mattress allegedly used by Anwar for a homosexual dalliance. To protect the integrity of the prosecution’s case, the presiding judge, Augustine Paul, expunged the entire DNA evidence at the time.

Saiful testified that on the day he allegedly met with Anwar, he had taken lubricant with him to Anwar's condominium – hardly the act of an innocent aide who had no idea that the then 63-year-old Anwar was about to jump him for unnatural sex.

It also became known during that Saiful was having a sexual liaison with Farah Azlina Latif, a female member of the prosecution team, which might have further disqualified him as a complaining witness.

The family apologizes
Saiful's father, Azlan Mohd Lazim in March 2013, apologized to Anwar at a press conference and said the plot to have Anwar arrested was cooked up in Najib's office. He said his son had been used by “irresponsible quarters” and that statements that both he and his son gave to the press during and after the trial were written by his lawyer and a special officer in Najib’s office.

“Anwar is innocent and a victim of this slander… as such I apologize to Anwar and his family,” Azlan said in a printed statement.” He and his family have suffered a lot as a result of this slander. I deeply regret all the slander hurled against Anwar, which involved my son Saiful Bukhairi.”

The case “was planned in great detail by a special officer in the PM’s Department,” Azlan said. “Even the script I read during the press conference after Anwar’s sodomy acquittal last year was prepared by this officer.”

His son, he said, “has never explained the sodomy incident and the accusation to me. I was never called as a witness in the case. I was never called by any party to offer my statement as the father from the start to the end of the trial.”

Although he was always seen accompanying his son during the trial, Azlan explained that he did so simply as a father who was giving moral support. Azlan said he decided to make his statement after collecting information obtained during the trial, as well as that sent to him by the public.

“As a Malay and a Muslim, I started to realize the evil of this plan. I don’t want to continue to conspire with this malicious slander. I want the people who love this country to know their malicious intention,” he said. “If this malicious intention continues, not only the Malays and Muslims would be destroyed, but the nation would be destroyed as well. I do not want to see this happen.”

[KENYATAAN MEDIA] Hukuman Terhadap Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim: Satu Lagi Episod Hitam Dalam Negara Kita – Presiden PAS

Posted: 07 Mar 2014 05:17 AM PST

KENYATAAN MEDIA PRESIDEN PAS
 
"HUKUMAN TERHADAP DATO' SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM :
SATU LAGI EPISOD HITAM DALAM NEGARA KITA"
Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) sungguh terkejut dan ingin merakamkan kekesalan yang tidak terhingga terhadap keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan dalam proses penghakiman yang begitu tergesa-gesa menjatuhkan hukuman bersalah terhadap Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim dalam rayuan pendakwa terhadap Kes Sodomi II pada hari ini.
PAS dan kalangan rakyat awam sudah tentu bertegas bahawa prinsip keadilan mestilah bukan sahaja ditegakkan dengan penuh telus dan bermaruah, tetapi ianya mestilah dapat dilihat ditegakkan dengan prosesnya yang begitu teliti, cermat dan berlaku adil mengikut prinsip undang-undang yang bebas. Apatah lagi sekiranya kita merujuk kepada sistem keadilan perundangan Islam yang menekankan bahawa sedikit sahaja keraguan dalam proses perbicaraan itu sudah cukup untuk membebaskan seseorang yang didakwa. Prinsip keadilan sebegini tidak dapat dilihat dalam kes yang menimpa Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Ini dengan sendirinya akan berterusan menghakis keyakinan rakyat terhadap sistem keadilan dalam negara kita ini.
PAS berkongsi kekecewaan ini dengan anggota keluarga Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, terutamanya isteri beliau Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah yang juga Presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dalam menghadapi ujian yang sangat berat ini. PAS akan terus memberikan segala bentuk sokongan kepada beliau dan ahli-ahli PKR, serta seluruh penyokong Pakatan Rakyat dalam meneruskan rayuannya ke Mahkamah Persekutuan sehingga keadilan dapat ditegakkan dan kezaliman dapat diruntuhkan.
Dato' Seri Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang
Presiden PAS
5 Jamadil Awal 1435 H bersamaan 7 Mac 2014

Rally to show solidarity with Anwar at Kajang stadium tonight

Posted: 07 Mar 2014 05:09 AM PST

TMI

A gathering to show solidarity to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is being organised at Stadium Kajang tonight.

PKR activist and Malaysian Young People’s Solidarity (SAMM) chief Badrul Hisham Shahrin said the gathering will start from 8pm.

This is the first gathering planned following the Appeals Court’s decision this afternoon to overturn Anwar’s acquittal from his second sodomy case.

Kajang is chosen as the venue as PKR’s machinery is already set up there in preparation for the impending Kajang by-election.

Anwar is PKR’s candidate for the seat. Nomination day for the by-election is next Tuesday (March11).

Anwar, who is PKR de facto leader and Permatang Pauh MP, was charged, in August 2008 at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, with sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

He was found not guilty in January 2012. The prosecution filed an appeal against the decision, which led to the overturned verdict today.

In an immediate response, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said he was not shocked by the Appeals Court’s decision.

“The worst feeling is that I am not surprised and am mentally prepared for this injustice,” he said.

In its rush to judgment Court of Appeal was following a script, says Anwar

Posted: 07 Mar 2014 05:08 AM PST

TMI

The Court of Appeal has been manipulated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to halt the rakyat’s march in Kajang and Selangor, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

Speaking to reporters at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Anwar said eyebrows had been raised at the manner in which the appellate court had handled his case.

“The appellate court has clearly been manipulated by Najib to stop the rakyat from marching in Kajang and Selangor and onwards towards Putrajaya,” Anwar said.

As Anwar exited the building, cries of ‘Reformasi!’ rocked the Palace of Justice as several hundred supporters cheered him, despite today’s proceeding not being in his favour.

Several PKR leaders rallied the crowd, railing against the injustice which had been committed against Anwar today and vowing that they would continue their work in Kajang.

Flanked by his daughter Nurul Izzah, Karpal Singh, Azmin Ali and Batu MP Tian Chua, Anwar said they would file an appeal on Monday.

“The reversal of any decision should be carefully considered and evaluated, but the appellate court could not wait as they were following a script,” Anwar said.

“We will file an appeal to the Federal Court because we are confident with our facts and information,” he added.

Asked who will be PKR’s candidate for the Kajang state seat since he had been ruled out of the running, Anwar said they would rethink their strategy.

Anwar’s legal counsel, Karpal Singh told reporters that what had been done in the Palace of Justice today was a travesty of justice.

“There were representatives from foreign countries watching the trial and they have seen it firsthand now,” he told reporters outside the appeal courtroom.

“There is clearly a blatant disregard by the appellate court of the facts of the case and the law.”

“It is shocking to hear the three-men panel state that under the circumstances, they could not wait for my medical records,” Anwar said.

He said the people of Malaysia will have their own views on the case, especially the controversial manner in which it had been conducted.

“Putrajaya is not interested in economic malaise, endemic corruption and rising crime.

“They are focused on killing, assassinating political opponents.

“Today Anwar, on March 11, Karpal. I think it is time that we warn Najib and the arrogant Umno leadership that they must be prepared to face the wrath of the people.

“That is Umno’s fear, that once Pakatan Rakyat gets into Putrajaya, we cannot be moved,” Anwar said.

He said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had attacked him.

“This is clearly an attempt to deny me. That is why they are doing this now. Once we get in, that is the end of Umno.”

“They have underestimated the wrath of the people. They are not God and I believe in the wisdom of the people.”

Meanwhile, Anwar’s wife and PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today’s proceedings had been conducted in the Palace of Justice, but inside there was only injustice.

The Court of Appeal today reversed the High Court acquittal of Anwar in the Sodomy II case and sentenced him to five years in jail.

Support for Anwar pouring in on social media

Posted: 07 Mar 2014 05:07 AM PST

TMI

Support for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim poured in on Twitter as news of his sodomy conviction and five year’s jail sentence spread like wildfire through social media websites today.

Thousands of Twitter users expressed their shock over the Court of Appeal’s verdict and sentence, and expressed solitarity and support for the PKR de facto leader.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders also took to the networking site to convey their disbelief and slammed the judiciary, as well as the Barisan Nasional government, over the conviction.

The ruling BN coalition has been accused of engineering Anwar’s sodomy charge largely to silence the opposition leader, who has been attributed with the BN’s dismal performance in the last two general elections.

Selangor speaker and Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh said, “They did this to @anwaribrahim when I was 18. Today at 35, I’ll witness the birth of a new reformasi generation. @anwaribrahim we are with u,” she tweeted.

PKR’s deputy publicity chief and Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin: “Anwar convicted of sodomy 2.0 Clearly political move to remove him from politics. To Najib & Umno, many thousands of Anwar will rise up against you! #Reformasi”

Twitter user Izzul Hazwan called on Anwar to be strong, saying: “The verdict reminded me once again that Malaysian justice system was long dead”.

Peter Justin Skelchy said of the court decision: “Malaysia’s judiciary has once again demonstrated that we are nothing but a banana republic @anwaribrahim @rafiziramli”.

“Anwar Ibrahim sentenced to jail is unacceptable. Clearly it’s the Government’s way to tell people not to mess with them. #Reformasi,” said ??H.

“Najib is so unoriginal! Using the same old move again. Persevere, sir! I have a feeling things will right themselves soon,” Timothy Wong said.

Former Penang speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain of PKR warned the ruling BN government that “Anwar Ibrahim a leader of world status & BN authoritarian govt out to shut him in jail. Be prepared for economic catastrophe & uncertainty.”

Meanwhile, NGO Human Rights Watch Deputy Director Phil Robertson said it was a “dark day” for the Malaysian judiciary, which has shown that it is incapable of “standing up straight” when national political issues are in play.

“This trial was all about knocking Anwar Ibrahim out of politics and the government was prepared to do whatever it took to make that happen,” he said.

“Anwar and his family appear caught in a never-ending nightmare of his political adversaries’ making, with the courts as the instrument of his political execution.”

With this sentence, Anwar’s political career appears to have ended. He will be disqualified from all his political positions and will not be the PKR candidate in the Kajang by-election to be held later this month.

PKR lawyer Latheefa Koya hit out at the three-man panel of judges, led by Justice Balia Yusof Wahi, who only took less than two hours to come up with the sentence.

“Why have the judges rushed into making a decision and taken such a short time before deciding to reverse Anwar’s Sodomy II acquittal,” she told reporters at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.

“When Karpal Singh was found guilty of sedition by the Ipoh High Court, the sentencing was scheduled to be announced after two weeks.

“In Anwar’s case, the sentencing is expected an hour after his acquittal against sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was reversed.”

It was a “serious injustice” to both parliamentarians, she said, as Anwar and Karpal are scheduled to appear in Parliament next week.

“It is very unusual for a court to reverse an acquittal so fast, and even more unusual to deliver sentence so fast.”

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