PUTRAJAYA, April 30 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is serving a five-year jail term for sodomising his former aide, has filed a review application to set aside his conviction and jail sentence on grounds of injustice. The notice of motion which was attached, together with Anwar’s nine-page affidavit-in-support of the application, was filed at the one-stop centre of the Federal Court Chief Registrar Office here today, by his lawyer, N. Surendran.
In his application, Anwar, 67, is asking the Federal Court to invoke Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 to set aside the decision of the Federal Court’s five-member panel in upholding his guilty verdict and five-year jail term imposed on him by the Court of Appeal.
Alternatively, he is seeking the Federal Court to re-hear his appeal on its merits. In his affidavit, Anwar said the Federal Court judgement delivered on Feb 10, this year ought to be reviewed to prevent injustice. He claimed that the release of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement on the day of the Federal Court judgement and the conduct of the lead prosecutor had rendered the Federal Court’s judgement objectively unsafe.
In his affidavit supporting his review application, Anwar claimed the PMO had issued a statement commenting on his conviction before the Federal Court had heard arguments on his sentence on the day the judgment was delivered. He claimed that the timing of the statement and its contents gave the impression to the public that the PMO knew the result in the case even before its pronouncement.
He said it was not the practice of the PMO to issue such a statement in any other criminal appeal and it had not happened in the past in any case, adding that the abnormality in the conduct of the PMO has caused him grave prejudice. Anwar also cited as one of the grounds for the review, the conduct of lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who had allegedly embarked on a roadshow ostensibly to explain the ‘Sodomy II’ case and gave vent to personal attacks on him, thus tainting the fairness of his trial.
He also said his conviction and sentence ought to be set aside, noting that the Federal Court had failed to deal on a crucial issue and make obvious inferences concerning a carpet purportedly where the alleged incident occurred which was moved to another condominium unit.
Anwar, in his affidavit, among others, also claimed that the Federal Court did not deal with the evidence on political conspiracy and that the court also did not weigh carefully on the issue of Mohd Saiful’s credibility. On Feb 10, this year, the Federal Court bench led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria dismissed Anwar’s final appeal against his conviction for sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 30, and maintained the five-year jail term imposed by the Court of Appeal.
Anwar was alleged to have committed the offence at Unit 11-5-1 of Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara here between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008. On March 7, last year, the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court’s finding which acquitted Anwar after his defence was called. Anwar is currently serving his jail sentence in the Sungai Buloh prison. Also present at the filing was Anwar’s daughter and Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament Nurul Izzah.