Human rights lawyer fails to meet Anwar

PUTRAJAYA: Human rights lawyer Kimberley Motley, who travelled thousands of kilometres to Malaysia to meet Anwar Ibrahim, was left disappointed after she was denied access to the former Opposition leader at the Sungai Buloh Prison.

Refusing to throw in the towel, Motley, along with lawyer Raul Lee Bhaskaran, headed to the home ministry to demand an explanation, only to be rejected once more.

According to Raul, the pair were denied entry as there was no officer in charge who could allow them into the home ministry.

“No one is in charge who can give us permission, yet they knew we were coming.”

Anwar is currently serving a five-year sentence at the Sungai Buloh Prison for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in 2008.

Speaking to reporters outside the home ministry, Motley described Anwar’s case as one of the most “horrendous travesties of justice of the 21st century”.

“I travelled thousands of miles to see my client and I am being denied access. What happened to him is a political issue more than a legal issue.

“I intend to talk globally about the way Anwar has been treated within the legal system.”

Motley was officially appointed to represent Anwar last Wednesday on a pro bono basis.

“I am honoured to be representing him internationally. I’ve known about his case for a number of years now.

“Human rights and international litigation is my specialty and that encouraged me to take up this case pro bono.

“This is not something I’m doing for money. I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”

When asked how she was going to tackle the case of sodomy, Motley was adamant that Anwar had not committed the crime.

“Well, he didn’t do it. The evidence overwhelmingly showed that Anwar is innocent of sodomy.

“For instance, the alleged victim reported the sodomy two days before it even happened.

“The alleged victim’s statements have been inconsistent from the beginning till end. Anwar’s statements – the truth – have always been consistent.

“That’s the thing about the truth. The truth always stays the same and lies always change.”

This is not the first time Anwar experienced restrictions in meeting his lawyers.

In March this year, PKR’s Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah said lawyers had visited Anwar in Sungai Buloh Prison more than 18 times but were restricted to just one hour, once a week.

Sivarasa noted that Anwar had at least 16 ongoing matters in different courts and this restriction made it impossible for his lawyers to effectively represent him and he has been forced to act for himself in some of his cases.