Verdict today on Anwar's review application against sodomy conviction

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today will pronounce its verdict on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's final bid to set aside his sodomy conviction and five-year sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The court is scheduled to deliver the decision at 9am, on Anwar's review application seeking the court to invoke Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 and review the decision of the five-member previous panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.

Alternatively, he wants the Federal Court to re-hear his appeal on its merits.

On Oct 12, a five-man bench of the Federal Court led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin reserved judgment to a date to be fixed after hearing submissions from Anwar's lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram and Attorney-General Chambers, Trials and Appellate Division head Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid who led the prosecution team.

The others on the panel 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.

Anwar, 69, is serving a five-year jail term in Sungai Buloh Prison after the Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015, upheld his conviction and sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014.

He has been in jail for almost one year and 10 months.

If Anwar's review application is successful, he will be released from prison as there will be no conviction and he will be able to contest in the 14th General Election due in June 2018.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of the sodomy charge.

However, the court of Appeal overturned the ruling and convicted Anwar after allowing the prosecution appeal.

Anwar was alleged to have committed the offence at Unit 11-5-1 of Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

On Dec 5, Anwar failed to commence qazaf proceeding against Mohd Saiful Bukhari after the Syariah Appeals Court dismissed his appeal and review application against the Syariah High Court's refusal of his application to commence qazaf proceeding.

In the decision, the Syariah Appeals Court said the court was bound by the country's law on Section 41 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territory) Act 1997, that sodomy was not categorised under qazaf.

Section 41 says qazaf is accusing someone of committing 'zina' (illicit sex) without bringing four male witnesses, and if convicted, the person can be jailed for up to three years or fined up to RM5,000, or both. — Bernama