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Anwar: Gov’t must furnish documents before trial begins

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 11, 2009

SUARA KEADILAN

By Wong Choon Mei [Updated]

It has been a year since Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was accused by the Malaysian government of sodomising a staff, but until now, he says Prime Minister Najib Razak’s regime has refused to furnish him with any information on the charges filed against him, including even the most basic police report.

With his trial due to start on July 1, the reform icon has been forced to apply for a High Court order to get the prosecution to provide him with documents pertaining to his sodomy case before hearing begins.

According to his lawyer Sankara Nair, the withholding of the crucial information was to “deprive and or conceal from our client the evidence that is favourable to him in his defence”.

It also prevented Anwar from checking and verifying the veracity and authenticity of the original DNA and other samples.

“This is to deny our client a fair trial,” Sankara said in a statement, adding that prosecutor’s actions showed that he “has much to hide”.

Persecuted like Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi

The former deputy premier, who is now the de-facto head of opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, has already pleaded not guilty.

The slim 61-year old leader was charged with sodomising his former personal aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a strapping 23-year old, at Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium between 3.01 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26, last year.

Anwar has counter-accused Prime Minister Najib Razak of fabricating the case against him.

The US State Department too has gone record to say that they believe Anwar was framed to tarnishing his political image and credibility.

Like Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, Anwar is a democracy icon and has been persecuted for challenging the corrupt Umno-BN regime led by Najib, who has resorted to police crackdowns and sham trials to cling to power.

“This action is an abuse, frivolous, unjust and tantamount to a political persecution. As such, in the name of justice, we again called upon the public prosecutor to withdraw the charge against our client with immediate effect,” said Sankara.

In the court notice filed on Wednesday, Anwar wants the documents to reach him before the July 1 to 24 trial begins.

He has asked for the original CCTV recordings alleged to have been taken at Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setia Kasih, Bukit Damansara between June 25 to 27, 2008, DNA samples, statements from witnesses including the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, police statements and several other documents.

Naming the public prosecutor as respondent, Anwar also applied to the court to acquit and free him immediately if the government could not comply. Otherwise, the court should suspend proceedings on his sodomy case permanently, he said.

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