Federal Court To Hear Anwar’s Review Application Against Conviction Tomorrow

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 – After serving one year and eight months for sodomy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has almost exhausted his legal remedies in seeking an acquittal. Tomorrow, the Apex Court will hear Anwar’s final legal bid to set aside his sodomy conviction and five-year sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 31.

Anwar wants the Federal Court to invoke Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 and review the decision of the five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria. Alternatively, he wants the Federal Court to re-hear his appeal on its merits. Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules 1995 allows the losing party to seek a review of a Federal Court decision. 

Although the Federal Court has the jurisdiction to review its own decision to prevent injustice and abuse of the court process, generally this will only be exercised in very exceptional circumstances. Anwar, 68, is currently serving a five-year jail term in Sungai Buloh Prison after the federal court on Feb 10, 2015 upheld his conviction and sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014.

In a 116-page written judgment, Justice Arifin said the apex court upheld the conviction and the sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal after taking into consideration the seriousness of the sodomy offence and the fact that Anwar had taken advantage of his position as the employer of a young victim.

Arifin led a five-man bench 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. On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharge Anwar of the charge on the grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim. The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis. — Bernama

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