Tuesday November 4, 2014
04:21 PM GMT+8

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Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim leaves court during his final appeal against a conviction for sodomy at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, November 4, 2014. — Reuters picOpposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim leaves court during his final appeal against a conviction for sodomy at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, November 4, 2014. — Reuters picPUTRAJAYA, Nov 4 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today renewed his allegation of a politically-driven prosecution against him for sodomy, claiming that he would be freed of the charge if he no longer posed a threat to the ruling administration.

The opposition leader also criticised Tan Sri Muhd Shafee Abdullah, the private lawyer leading the prosecution, of turning the trial into a “political lecture”, and for choosing to launch personal attacks against the defence witnesses instead of objectively rebutting their testimony.

“If I do retire, they will probably acquit me,” he told reporters outside the Palace of Justice here, after the hearing of his appeal against his sodomy conviction was adjourned for the day.

Earlier in the hearing, Shafee suggested that Dr Osman Abdul Hamid, the Pusrawi Hospital physician who first examined Anwar’s accuser, Saiful Bukhary Azlan, was responsible for inserting his own DNA into the former aide’s anus, resulting in the presence of a third profile from semen samples recovered.

Shafee also derided the testimony of Dr Brian McDonald, an expert witness engaged by the defence, as an “armchair expert” who was unreliable.

“Dr McDonald will testify (to) anything under the sun as a witness,” Shafee claimed.

Anwar today also rubbished Shafee’s claims that he could have commissioned his own DNA testing abroad to disprove that he was the source of the Male Y profile built from semen extracted from Saiful’s anus, saying it was the prosecution’s duty to prove his guilt and not for him to show innocence.

“I’m not a prosecutor. I am the victim in this entire charade of a trial,” the PKR de facto leader said.

He then added that the courts cannot allow anyone to be continuously demonised and harassed without a “shred of evidence.”

Today’s hearing has been adjourned to Thursday, when the defence will have the opportunity to rebut Shafee’s submission, which were concluded today.

The Federal Court is hearing today Anwar’s challenge of the Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn a lower court’s decision to acquit him of the charge.

The High Court had in 2012 acquitted Anwar of the 2008 charge but the appellate court ruled on March 7 this year that the trial judge had erred when rejecting the DNA evidence produced in the case.

Anwar has repeatedly maintained his innocence, insisting that the charges were trumped up to kill his political career as he allegedly poses a threat to the Barisan Nasional coalition’s decades-long rule with the Pakatan Rakyat alliance, which he now leads.

If Anwar fails to reverse his five-year imprisonment sentence and conviction in the Federal Court, he would lose his seat as the law bars anyone fined RM2,000 or imprisoned for one year from serving as a lawmaker.

Today’s hearing is presided over by a five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria. Others include Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Ramly Ali.

Anwar is represented by a 14-man defence team led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram. Others include lawyers R.Sivarasa, Latheefa Koya, N. Surendran and Gobind Singh Deo.

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