By Ralvin Manikam and Pauline Wong
Live updates for the verdict from the Federal Court on the trial of Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim @ Palace of Justice, Putrajaya.
3:54pm Bernama reports that the Election Commission will announce the vacancy of Anwar’s Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat within 10 days after receiving official notice from Dewan Rakyat.
3:45pm PKR State Assemblyman for Simpang Pulai, Tan Kar Hing has been detained by police at the Palace of Justice and is now being brought to IPD Putrajaya. He was alleged to have obstructed the police vehicle carrying Anwar from leaving the court complex. A team of lawyers from Suaram are with him.
3:30pm Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar has tweeted from his handle @KBAB51 that police will investigate DAP’s Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming and cartoonist Zunar for their tweets on the Anwar verdict this morning.
3:20pm Activist group Lawyers for Liberty claims that the court has issued a warrant of committal against Anwar for his outburst against them in the courtroom.
Earlier, Anwar was allowed to give a statement after the sentencing, in which he maintained his innocence and claimed that the charges against him were a political conspiracy.
3:14pm Anwar’s family have gotten into the car. Press surround the vehicle and refuse to let them go. Supporters still crowding around.
3:10pm The prison vehicle carrying Anwar has finally left the court grounds. The crowd slowly disperses. No tear gas or water cannons used.
3:08pm The prison vehicle carrying Anwar is leaving the court grounds. A battalion of FRU officers try to clear the way. The crowd of supporters, cameramen and journalists is blocking the path, the alarm bell is sounded for the 4th time.
2:45pm Anwar will leave Palace of Justice for Sungai Buloh prison, his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo confirms. The crowd refuses to disperse.
2:30pm The bell has been rung twice. The 2,000 strong crowd still refuses to budge. A long line of supporters hold up the waiting prison vehicle as Anwar slowly bids goodbye. “My time is up, I’ll miss all of you,” he tells them.
2:15pm Outside the courtroom, the air is thick with tension. The crowd is silent. Armed FRU personnel in riot gear stand by with helmets and shields. In the background, the water cannons await. The FRU rings a bell to warn the crowd. No movement.
This will be the 67-year-old’s third time in prison, having been jailed as a student in 1974 and as the former Deputy Premier in 1998. After serving this sentence, he will be 72 when he is released.
1:55pm At his request, Anwar is allowed to address the court. He defiantly addresses the court, telling the bench that he is innocent of the charges, which are a political conspiracy.
“You could have carved your names. But in bowing to the dictates of your political masters, you have become partners in the murder of the judiciary. You chose to remain on the dark side,” Anwar tells the five-man panel.
“Allah is my witness. I will not be silent. I will never surrender.”
The judges walk out before Anwar can finish speaking.
1:50pm Federal Court maintains the sentence of five years jail for Anwar. Court erupts in chorus of “reformasi” and shouts of “Allahuakbar”.
Stoic Anwar turns to hug his family and supporters in his last moments of freedom. Tears flow freely as they bid goodbye to the 67-year-old leader who will once again face incarceration.
Defence lawyers argue that the court has discretionary powers of punishment, can choose not to give prison sentence.
1:45pm 1000-strong crowd of Anwar supporters move to the back of the Court chanting “reformasi” and “bebas, bebas”. Waiting for sentencing.
1:30pm. Calm before the storm : Undeterred by heat and hunger, supporters keep watch outside patiently, almost numbly. The subdued crowd waits quietly, unable to glimpse what is taking place inside the court where Anwar awaits sentencing. Police personnel are on standby.
1:25pm. Although sentencing is not over yet, news media have already received an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Department regarding the verdict.
The statement is reproduced below in full:
“The judges will have reached their verdict only after considering all the evidence in a balanced and objective manner. Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures.
“The police report against Anwar Ibrahim was brought by a private individual – Anwar’s employee and personal assistant – not by the government. As the victim of a serious sexual assault, he had every right to have his case heard in court.
“In this case, exhaustive and comprehensive due process has been followed over many years. That process is now complete, and we call on all parties involved to respect the legal process and the judgment”.
1:20pm Outside the Palace of Justice, supporters of Anwar are seen crying and visibly agitated at the guilty verdict. The court takes an hour recess before hearing the prosecution’s cross appeal to increase the sentence.
1:18pm: Overwhelming evidence of sodomy, verdict of guilty is upheld.
1:15pm Outside the Palace of Justice, Anwar’s supporters feel restless, things look grim in court, Pakatan leaders say that he might be convicted.
12:20 Outside the court complex, supporters gather to hear speeches. Fahmie Zainol, an outspoken University Malaya student leader says that he does not see Anwar Ibrahim as an opposition leader, but a father, a grandfather, and a persecuted human being.
12:00pm Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid from Pusrawi Hospital lied about plastic been inserted into Saiful’s anus, judge says.
11:20am There is nothing “inferiorly fallible” in the chemists’ evidence.
11:00am Court finds that degradation of DNA evidence has no impact on the integrity of the sample. Finding semen samples inside the complainant’s body after two days is not considered “unusual”.
10:53am On the Brioni suit, court finds that PW1 was not cross examined and thus cannot explain the lack of the label.
10:50am The fact that the carpet was found in a different unit is not considered as “critical” evidence in the case.
10:45am Saiful is a credible witness, court says. Defense counsel used wrong procedures to impeach the witness. Court gives weight to the testimony of Saiful, the only witness.
10:40am Court rules that the lockup items were not unlawfully obtained. Even if the evidence was obtained by trickery/ unfair means, it is still admissible as evidence.
10:35am On the issue of corroboration, the Judge says that the Evidence Act does not require corroboration for sexual offenses. Hence, although the chemist’s evidence does not corroborate, this is not needed for conviction.
10:30am: CJ dealing with the background facts of the case.
10: 10am: Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria reads out the judgement. The other members of the five man bench are
10.00am: Court is expected to begin session. Supporters waiting outside patiently and news media gearing up for a long wait. Situation outside the courtroom is tense with anticipation.
9.36am: IDEAS chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan says things are not looking good for Anwar, but he wants to be proven wrong.
8:55am: Lee Yin Chow, 64 has attended every trial since Sodomy 2 began. She took three buses to get here today, she said, showing The Rocket her bus tickets from as far back as 3 years ago. “I want to see justice upheld. I am here for Anwar.”
8.40am: Crowd size has swelled to about 500 people.
8.35am: Wanita Keadilan
8.31am: PKR VP N. Surendran, Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Johari, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim at PoJ.
8.28am: A man who wants to be known as Saw says that if Anwar is sent to jail, so must several other top BN leaders for their crimes.
8.18am: Supporters numbering some 150 people marching towards Palace of Justice shouting “Reformasi” and “Hidup Anwar”
7.55am: The ‘UIA student’ faces off with, presumably, PKR supporters and members.
7.45am: Police opening the gate for selected media. MPs Mahfuz Omar (PAS) and Rafizi Ramli (PKR) are allowed to enter.
7.21am: The air is palpably tense at the
#sodomy2 trial verdict.
7.07am: Persiaran Perdana in front of Palace of Justice blocked off to vehicles. Police presence is light