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Sodomy ll: Contempt proceedings against PM?

 | March 21, 2011

Karpal Singh is considering citing the prime minister for contempt for defying court's warning not to comment on Anwar's sodomy trial

KUALA LUMPUR: Karpal Singh is “seriously considering” citing Prime Minister Naijb Tun Razak for contempt of court for his remarks telling opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to surrender his DNA samples in the on-going sodomy trial.

The DAP stalwart and leading defence counsel for Anwar, said Najib had defied Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah’s warning to all parties against commenting on the trial.

Zabidin responded to Karpal, saying that he if he “really felt that way”, Karpal could file an application to the court to do so.

“The prime minister has to face the music,” said Karpal. “All parties concerned must not commit contempt of court.”

This was part of the defence’s argument against the prosecution’s submission to review the results of the trial-within-a-trial and their request that the court orders Anwar to provide a DNA sample.

Karpal slammed the prosecution’s request for a review of the trial-within-a-trial’s ruling not to accept DNA evidence from three items used by Anwar during his detention, saying that it could only be reviewed if new evidence had come to light.

“Judicial activism has its limits,” said the Bukit Gelugor MP.

He added that asking Anwar for his DNA was “unheard of and unprecedented in  the Commonwealth and the world.

“You cannot subject a person to such demands against his will as this is against Section 323 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

“It’s your constitutional right to not give samples to anybody. How can you be forced to give something when the law doesn’t say you ought to?” said Sankara Nair, another one of Anwar’s lawyers.

Justice Zabidin adjourned the hearing to Wednesday, saying that he would need two days to go over the submissions.

The court reconvenes on Wednesday, and he said he will announce his decision regarding the prosecution’s request to review the trial-within-a-trial and application for Anwar’s DNA.

Earlier, Justice Zabidin had ruled that DNA from the items retrieved from Anwar’s cell on July 16, 2008 – a towel, toothbrush and water bottle – be excluded as evidence in the trial because they were obtained improperly and by unfair means.

This was a setback to the prosecution’s case as the DNA would have corroborated complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari’s  testimony that Anwar had sodomised him.

This is the second time Anwar has been charged with sodomy, the first being in 1998 alongside charges of corruption.

The complainant, Mohd Saiful, is Anwar’s former personal aide, who accused Anwar of sodomising him at the condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008. If convicted, Anwar faces a maximum of 20 years jail and whipping.


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