Hearing of appeal against Anwar's acquittal set for March 6 and 7

28 Feb 2014 / 14:19 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here today set March 6 and 7 to hear the prosecution's appeal against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's (pix) acquittal on a charge of allegedly sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Court of Appeal judge Datuk Aziah Ali set the dates in chambers when the matter came up before her for case management. Anwar's counsel Karpal Singh and deputy public prosecutors Noorin Badaruddin and Muhammad Shafee Abdullah were present at the case management proceedings.
Muhammad Shafee was appointed ad hoc deputy public prosecutor in July last year by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to lead the prosecution in the appeal.
Karpal Singh told reporters later that the Court of Appeal had set Monday, March 3 to hear Anwar's third application to disqualify Muhammad Shafee from leading the prosecution in its appeal against his acquittal on the sodomy charge. He also said that the Federal Court would hear on March 4 the prosecution's application to have Anwar's notice of appeal struck out.
Karpal Singh said the matter in the Federal Court was in relation to his (Anwar's) application to recall to the witness stand retired police officer Supt Jude Balcious Pereira, the investigating officer in the sodomy case against Anwar and a prosecution witness in Anwar's sodomy case.
Anwar lost his bid to have Pereira recalled when his application was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Feb 12 this year. He sought to recall Pereira to determine whether his (Pereira's) evidence given during the sodomy trial at the High Court was credible following another High Court decision which had, on Jan 15 this year, rejected his (Pereira's) application to be admitted as a lawyer. Anwar had filed a notice of appeal to bring this matter up for appeal to the Federal Court.
Anwar filed his third application on Feb 25 to disqualify Muhammad Shafee from appearing as the public prosecutor on the grounds that the senior lawyer was not a fit and proper person to accept the appointment as he was found guilty of violating the Legal Profession (Publicity) Rules 2001.
Anwar had first challenged the legality of Muhammad Shafee's appointment under the Criminal Procedure Code but this was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Sept 17 last year. He was also unsuccessful in his appeal, which was dismissed by the Federal Court on Nov 20 last year.
His second application to disqualify Muhammad Shafee, based on a statutory declaration by former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, was also dismissed by the Court of Appeal, on Dec 20 last year. His appeal to the Federal Court was also dismissed, on Feb 11 this year.
Muhammad Shafee was appointed by the Attorney-General by fiat (authorisation) under Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution to conduct the appeal at the Court of Appeal.
On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur acquitted and discharged Anwar on a charge of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 26, at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008. The prosecution is appealing to the Court of Appeal against this High Court decision. – Bernama


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