Prosecutors relying on “illegal evidence” in sodomy II case, say Anwar’s lawyers

anwar and azizahPUTRAJAYA, October 29 – Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s defence counsel have argued that evidence obtained by illegal means cannot be used as DNA evidence for sodomy.

According to defense lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo at the Palace of Justice today, the items, which were obtained from the defendant’s cell when he was in the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters lockup, were taken without his permission.

Sangeet said that the prosecution should have used direct evidence as proof instead of relying on circumstantial evidence that the police allegedly obtained without Anwar’s knowledge.

When asked by Justice Abdul Hamid if she (Sangeet) was saying that direct evidence should be used instead of circumstantial evidence, Sangeet said “Yes”.

She also said that there was no connection between the DNA profile of ‘Male Y’ and Anwar’s DNA. ‘Male Y’ in question is the label on one of the two DNA profiles from the items of evidence. During trial in 2011, government chemist Nor Aidora Saedon had testified that besides ‘Male Y’ DNA, there was also an unknown DNA profile found on the items taken from the lockup.

Defence council Ramkarpal Singh said that the the Chemistry Department official Seah Lay Hong was selective in choosing to report the correct peaks and stutters when analyzing DNA profile in samples taken from Saiful.

“She did not report the peaks of others. She reported a peak of 13 but not a peak of 17 or 18,” he said, adding that the the Chemistry Department ignored guidelines saying that the peak is 12 percent.

As a result, Ramkarpal said the analysis of the DNA samples done by Dr Seah were unreliable. He also said the DNA samples taken from Saiful had not been stored in a freezer but was kept in investigating officer DSP Jude Blacious Pereira’s cabinet. Further, he questioned the integrity of the DNA samples which were provided only 96 hours after the alleged incident.

Ramkarpal also added that the Chemistry Department has not been accredited since 2005.

Saiful’s testimony questionable

Yesterday, the lead defence council Gopal Sri Ram had attempted to poke holes in Saiful Bukhary’s credibility as the key witness, saying that he could not have been forcefully penetrated in the anus when it was Saiful himself who brought the lubricant K-Y jelly that Saiful claimed was used while being sodomized.

Sri Ram said that if the court could believe Saiful’s testimony then, “we can believe the moon is made of green cheese”.

He also questioned Saiful’s preservation of semen in his anus for two days, asking if Saiful had refrained from visiting the toilet from the alleged date of sodomy on 26 June 2008 to 28 June 2008, when he had first handed over the lubricant to investigating officer DSP Jude Blacious Pereira.

Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram’s inclusion in the Anwar’s defence team at the eleventh hour appeared to have paid off for the defendant’s team. At the age of 70, he was able to command respect of the judges who are either his juniors or peers, they did not interrupt him as they did to other lawyers when they were delivering points.

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria leads a five man bench that includes Md Raus Sharif (President Court of Appeal), Abdul Hamid Embong, Suriyadi Halim Omar and Ramly Ali in a case that would determine the fate of the opposition leader in his final appeal against charges of sodomising his aide. If Anwar loses this appeal, he will have no more legal recourse.

A ‘plot’ to ‘finish’ Anwar’s career?

Anwar has claimed that the case is a ploy by the government to end his political career after successfully led the Pakatan Rakyat coalition to win the popular vote of 52 percent in the last elections.

According to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, this is a plot to dismantle Pakatan Rakyat.

“If they put Anwar behind bars, it would be easier for them to break us (PR) up especially when they have already managed to break up PAS in the Selangor MB crisis.”

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad also weighed in on the issue, saying that this is an unprecedented case of political persecution of Anwar Ibrahim by the federal government.

“This is a case of oppression by the federal government on the rakyat who want to see change in Malaysia who are led by Anwar Ibrahim.”

The case, initially scheduled to be concluded today, is expected to continue until Thursday. -The Rocket

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