‘No interference in court decision’
> PM’s office had no prior knowledge of case outcome: Lead prosecutor
PUTRAJAYA: There was no interference by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in relation to the Federal Court decision to uphold Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction and five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide, the Federal Court was told.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers Trials and Appellate Division head Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, who is leading the prosecution team, argued that the PMO had no knowledge whatsoever on the outcome of the Federal Court decision on Feb 10 last year.
Ahmad Kamal said furthermore, the Court was totally independent of any other body in its decision making. “All insinuation and innuendos that the PMO knew about the decision beforehand are wrong, baseless and irresponsible. That is fortified by the fact that the applicant (Anwar) was acquitted in the High Court,” he said.
“In the affidavit-in-reply affirmed by Datuk Seri Tengku Shariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, who was the director of the media division at the PMO, he explained that it is also normal practice for the PMO to issue an immediate response by way of media statement on the matter,” said Ahmad Kamal.
Tengku Shariffuddin had filed the affidavit to reply to Anwar’s affidavit to support his review application.
Ahmad Kamal was submitting at the hearing of Anwar’s review application to set aside his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence for sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 31.
The appeal is being heard by a five-man panel led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin. The other panel members are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin and Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim.
Ahmad Kamal stressed that it was normal practice for the PMO to prepare two separate media statements because the decision had to be either one of two possibilities, acquittal or conviction.
Earlier, retired Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who acted for Anwar had argued that the PMO’s statement which was issued 15 minutes after the decision showed that there was a political conspiracy against his client and that the PMO had a special interest in the case.
The panel reserved its judgement on Anwar’s review application to a date to be fixed later.
Anwar, 69, had filed the review application seeking the Federal Court to invoke Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 and review the decision of the panel. – Bernama