Anwar’s sodomy trial stays in Sessions Court, for now

(The Star) The High Court rejected on Wednesday the prosecution’s application to transfer Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial to a higher court.

In a letter addressed to senior deputy prosecutor Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, the High Court said that a revision of judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah’s decision to object the application of transfer “should not be made at this stage”.

The letter, signed by senior assistant registrar Haslina Basaruddin, said that Mohd Yusof’s application had been referred to Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah on Tuesday.

“After studying the letter, the judge is of the view that a review on the decision on the preliminary objection by the learned Sessions Court judge should not be made at this stage.

“The learned Sessions Court judge should be given the chance to hear and decide on the merits of preliminary objection of the defence before a revision should be made.

“Therefore, the hearing of merits of the defence’s preliminary objection should continue in the Sessions Court,” Haslina said.

On Tuesday, the prosecution had also produced a transfer certificate issued by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to transfer Anwar’s case to the High Court, but it was rejected by Komathy.

The Permatang Pauh MP had on Aug 7 claimed trial to sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

He is accused of committing the offence at Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, on June 26.

Komathy continued hearing the defence counsel’s submissions on why he objected to the prosecution’s application for the case transfer.

Lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah argued that the transfer certificate was invalid because it was signed by Abdul Gani who was currently being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) following a police report filed by Anwar.

Komathy had also issued a press gag against publishing details of Abdul Gani’s alleged involvement in tampering with evidence in Anwar’s trials in 1998.

Mohd Yusof Zainal had asked for the gag order claiming that the contents of the exhibits and the statement of claims, which were attached to the Anwar’s affidavit, were “inadmissible”.

“If the public reads it, even if it is expunged later, damage would have already been done. Truth is secondary, it’s all about perception,” he said.

The hearing continues Thursday.

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