Monday, August 22, 2011
Saiful Bukhari Azlan
Anwar Ibrahim (middle) in 1984 with Najib Razak (right) and Musa Hitam (left)
In the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today, Monday 22nd August 2011, Malaysian opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has denied he had any sexual relations with his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
"I state, in no uncertain terms, that I have never had any sexual relations with the complainant, Mohd Saiful.
"Saiful's allegation is a blatant and vicious lie and will be proved to be so," he told the High Court.
Anwar was opting to give his evidence from the dock, as his defence on the charge of sodomising Mohd Saiful began today, Monday 22nd August 2011.
The Opposition leader, in his statement, started off with his experience in his 1998 sodomy trial, in which he was convicted and jailed, and categorically denied the charge against him.
Anwar added that the circumstances were compelling that he elected to make a statement from the dock.
He claimed he has been deprived of a level playing field and subjected to inequality of arms vis-a-vis the prosecution.
Anwar, 63, had pleaded not guilty to committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature on Mohd Saiful at Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
On May 16, 2011 Mohd Zabidin ordered Anwar to enter his defence after ruling that the Opposition leader's former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the complainant in the case, was a truthful and credible witness.
Anwar Ibrahim's STATEMENT FROM THE DOCK
My name is Anwar bin Ibrahim. I am the leader of the Opposition in Parliament. In the 1990s, I was the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister until September 1998 when then Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad sacked me after I had refused to resign. He had told me to resign or face dire consequences including criminal prosecution for alleged sexual and corruption offences. I refused and all hell broke loose. My unceremonious and grossly unjust dismissal simultaneously orchestrated with a trial by media under Mahathir’s complete control triggered mass and widespread demonstrations throughout the country and launched the movement for change and reform known in our history as the Reformasi era.
After a series of show trials during which every rule in the book on evidence and criminal procedure was violated with impunity at the hands of the prosecution and the courts, I was convicted and sentenced to a total of 15 years. He finished reading his 32-page statement to the court at 11.47am.
Anwar's statement THE CHARGE AGAINST ME
First and foremost, I categorically deny the charge against me. I want to state in no uncertain terms that I have never had any sexual relations with the complainant Mohamed Saiful. His allegation is a blatant and vicious lie and will be proved to be so.
This is a vile and despicable attempt at character assassination. In this regard, let me reiterate that they can do all they want to assassinate my character and sully my reputation and threaten me with another 20 years of imprisonment but mark my words, they won’t be able to cow me into submission. On the contrary, it only serves to fortify my conviction that the truth will eventually prevail. Come what come may, I shall never surrender.
Anwar's statement > THE COMPLAINANT’S ALLEGATIONS ARE PURE FABRICATION
As I have said at the outset, I categorically deny the allegations made against me by the complainant.
The complainant stated in evidence on 26th June, 2008 he arrived at Kondominium Desa Damansara at 2.45 p.m. to discuss work matters and hand-over documents given to him by one Ibrahim Yaakob [my Chief of Staff] to myself. He says he stopped his van at the security post and mentioned the code name ‘Mokhtar’ to the guards at the condominium before being allowed in. He parked his vehicle and took the lift to Unit 11-5-1 where I was allegedly seated at a dining table in the living room. He says he sat down at the same table and started the discussion. He told the court of the crude manner in which I had allegedly asked for sex.
The following appears in his evidence thereafter (as attached).
When questioned, he answered that he was angry and scared and that he was not prepared to do it but purportedly because I had appeared angry, he eventually obliged. It has to be observed at this stage the complainant could have, on his own admission in examination-in-chief, left the room as there is no evidence of any attempt by me to latch the door from inside.
He had further alleged that he was ordered into the bedroom and that he did enter out of fear. Even at this stage, the complainant had the opportunity to leave the living room. He did not do so. The rest of the evidence in this regard clearly showed that the complainant had every opportunity on every occasion to flee but he did not do so. His reason was that he was petrified by fear. But such a reason flies against the facts. Here is a man in his early twenties, a six-footer, physically fit and robust and with powerful connections in the top police brass as well as the political elite with access to the very inner sanctum of power. Additionally, he has also been a key UMNO student operative, having undergone the rigorous training conducted by the Biro Tats Negara of the Prime Minister’s Department. And here I was a 60-year-old man with a history of back injury who had undergone a major back surgery holding no position of power. If indeed I could have exercised any kind of undue influence or mental pressure on him, this could have been easily neutralized by a quick phone call to his connections. As regards the fear of physical harm, it would take a great stretch of the imagination to suggest that I could pose any physical harm to him.
Under cross-examination, the following significant evidence was elicited from the complainant. He admitted that he had brought along lubricant and had himself voluntarily and without hesitation applied it. He claimed that carnal intercourse took place and that it was painful and coarse. However, this was clearly not borne out in the medical evidence in the prosecution case suggesting fissures or tears. After the alleged act, he testified that he had a drink and engaged in a friendly conversation with me. Startlingly, no attempt was made by the complainant to seek immediate medical attention. Instead, he attended a PKR function the following day. In the evening, he joined a meeting of the Anwar Ibrahim Club at my house without showing any sign of either emotional or physical discomfort let alone trauma. On the contrary, he was going about matters in a calm and confident manner. His conduct therefore is totally inconsistent with having been violated. In any event, he neither made a police report nor sought medical attention, notwithstanding that two days prior to the alleged act, he had met with Najib and Rosmah as well having talked on the phone with Musa Hassan and met with Rodhwan at a hotel.
It is obvious, from the evidence above, that the complainant was lying through his teeth although Y.A., despite the compelling evidence to the contrary, found him a truthful witness at the close of the prosecution case. This defies logic, let alone the law.
Then again, the expert evidence with regard to DNA led in the course of prosecution case through PW4, Dr. Seah Lay Hong and PW5, Nor Aidora bt Saedon was highly questionable in that crucial information pertaining to the DNA analysis of both the said witnesses which they were obliged to furnish to the court was suspiciously withheld despite them confirming the existence of such information. The real possibility that the samples analyzed were contaminated and even planted were completely disregarded despite such possibilities coming clearly within guidelines set by the international forensic community which were completely ignored, if not, blatantly disregarded by PW4 and PW5 to fit the prosecution’s case. It is obvious had the said possibilities been explored, the conclusions reached would have been very different in that the complainant’s own semen was found in his own anus, there was ample evidence of contributors other than Male Y around the complainant’s perianal, lower and higher rectal region and there was clear evidence of the samples having been tampered with before they were sent for analysis. In such circumstances, the integrity of the said samples was surely compromised. Furthermore, the impartiality of PW4 was highly questionable having regard to the way in which she completely dismissed the very high possibility that the samples sent to her would have degraded to a certain degree by the time they reached her which such degradation was completely absent from all samples in this case. This clearly points to the obvious reality that the samples sent for analysis could not have been what were extracted from the complainant’s person.
The court was adjourned to 9 am Tuesday, 23rd August 2011.
Earlier, at the start of the defence proceedings, Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh informed the court that his client was going to give evidence from the dock.
High Court judge, Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, said Anwar had three options - to give his evidence from the witness stand which means he can be cross-examined by the prosecution; to give his evidence from the dock which means he cannot be cross-examined by the prosecution but in coming up with a decision the court takes into account the fact that the prosecution has not cross-examined the accused; or to elect to remain silent.
My Say > From Anwar's statement, does it appears that he was present in that condominium together with Saiful Bukhari on the day of the alleged sodomy act?
Let's wait for the hearings to continue to the end.