PUTRAJAYA, Oct 30 – The hearing of the final appeal of PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim entered its third day today with his lawyers continuing to persuade the Federal Court Judges to free Anwar from a sodomy charge. Top man in the judiciary, Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria is leading a five-member panel comprising Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Ramly Ali.
Anwar is represented by a team of 14 lawyers led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, a former Federal Court judge himself. The other 13 lawyers are Ramkarpal Singh Deo, Sangeet Kaur Deo, N.Surendran, R.Sivarasa, J.Leela, Latheefa Koya, Lim Choon Khim, Eric Paulsen, Michelle Yesudas, Shahid Adli Kamaruddin, Zaleha Al-Hayat, Jeremy Vinesh Anthony and Mohamed Aliff Bolkin.
A senior lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, is leading the prosecution team in the appeal. He is assisted by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria. Today, Ramkarpal is to continue his submissions on the DNA samples of Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the complainant in the case.
Muhammad Shafee, who is scheduled to rebut submissions from the defence team in the afternoon, is expected to continue with his submission on Friday and this will be followed with the defence team replying to the prosecution’s argument. The appeal, which was initially fixed for two days from Oct 28 to Oct 29,has dragged for three days and expected to end tomorrow.
On March 7, the Court of Appeal sentenced Anwar, 67, to five years’ jail for sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008. The charge, under Section 377B of the Penal Code, carries a jail term of up to 20 years, and whipping, upon conviction.