Anwar`s lawyer seeks witness statement for cross examination

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 19:59

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian opposition leader
Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday challenged the sodomy charge against him,
saying the case was full of discrepancies and sought from the
court the complainant`s statements for cross-examination.

Anwar`s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan has
accused the opposition leader of sodomising him in 2008.

The trial was adjourned today to enable the High Court
decide if it wanted to order the prosecution to supply the
complainant`s witness statements to the defence for the
purpose of cross-examination.
Trial judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah said he
needed some time to study the points raised by Anwar`s lead
counsel Karpal Singh that the sodomy charge against the
62-year-old father of six kids contradicted Mohd Saiful`s
witness statements and his evidence in court.

Singh submitted to the court that the defence had the
right to be supplied with the witness` statement to study if
he should be impeached.

"This is not an ordinary case. The attention of the
court is being directed to the contradiction (between the
charge, witness statements and evidence in court) and the
court has to determine the discrepancies and decide over
this," he said.

"This ruling by your lordship will be a prime order,
which will be subject for appeal at the Court of Appeal. If we
can prove that the witness lied in court, then we can impeach
him.

The lawyer applied for Saiful`s witness statements
recorded in the course of the investigation of the case to be
supplied to the defence for the purpose of cross-examination.

"It`s the first time in a criminal case in this
country that you have a statement to the police saying that
the act was not consensual and yet the charge is consensual,"
Anwar told reporters.
Karpal applied to the judge to make a fair decision,
saying this was the first time in legal history such an
occasion was occurring and that it had far-reaching
consequences.

"Mohd Saiful stated in his police report that the
incident (sodomy) took place without his consent. He (Saiful)
confirmed this when he testified in court on Monday and he
alleged the same thing today (Tuesday).

"In this country, consensual (sexual) intercourse
under this circumstances is an offence," he said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 19:59

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