KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 2 – The High Court judge who was to preside over the application by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his family for leave for judicial review against Sungai Buloh Prison has recused himself from the case. Justice Datuk Hanipah Farikullah made the decision in chambers during which Anwar and his family were represented by counsel Shahid Adli Kamarudin and the respondent, by senior federal counsel Maisarah Johari.
The applicants are challenging the prison’s decision to disallow Anwar who is serving five years for sodomy, from having any physical contact with any of his family members when they visit him. Maisarah told reporters that the judge recused himself because his daughter was studying in the same school as Anwar’s daughter Nurul Nuha who is also one of the applicants in the judicial review.
She said the judge set July 15 for case management before the High Court deputy registrar. Anwar, 68, his wife, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 63, and their four children, Nurul Izzah, 35, Nurul Nuha, 32, Nurul Ilham, 28, and Nurul Iman, 25, filed the application naming the Sungai Buloh Prison director, Prison commissioner general, and Home Minister as respondents.
Other applicants are Nurul Izzah’s children, Raja Nur Safiyah Raja Ahmad Shahrir Iskandar and Raja Ahmad Harith aged nine and seven years, respectively, and Nurul Nuha’s children, Sulaimaan Mohamad Khairul and Yahya aged four and three years, respectively. They are seeking an order to quash the decision of the Sungai Buloh prison director dated March 14, made in a letter in response to Anwar’s written request through his solicitor on March 2.
The family claimed that during their visits once every three weeks, they could only communicate with Anwar through the telephone, as a glass panel had been placed between them barring any physical contact. The applicants claimed the prison’s decision had caused them anguish, was unreasonable, illegal, and contravened the Prison Act 1995 and Prison Regulations 2000 as well as Article 5 and Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.