KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today ordered the government to respond to a suit by former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to quash his sodomy conviction on grounds that he was denied a fair trial, following a claim that a senior prosecutor had received millions of ringgit from the prime minister.
Lawyer Latheefa Koya said the High Court also ordered counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to file his case in response to Anwar’s application to compel the lawyer to disclose his bank account transactions between August 2013 and March 2014.
Anwar has filed two suits: One over not receiving a fair trial, and the second to compel Prime Minister Najib Razak and Shafee to reveal bank account details.
Anwar filed the suits following allegations that RM9.5 million had been transferred to lawyer Shafee from Najib’s private account.
“The government must file its affidavit by July 12, while Shafee on July 17,” she told reporters after a case management before Justice Kamaludin Md Said.
The next management has been fixed for Aug 3.
Latheefa, who appeared together with N Surendran, said Najib was not represented today although Anwar had also named him to disclose his bank transactions during that period.
On June 9, Anwar filed a suit to quash his sodomy conviction on grounds the court did not come to a just decision as Shafee, then appointed as ad-hoc prosecutor, had allegedly received RM9.5 million from Najib.
Early this month, online portal Sarawak Report reported that Shafee had received the money in two tranches in 2013 and 2014 from Najib.
Anwar wants the court to set him free by setting aside the Court of Appeal’s decision in March 2014, which overturned his acquittal on a charge of sodomising a former PKR aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
The decision was reaffirmed by the Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015, which sentenced Anwar to five years’ jail.
At the trial stage, the prosecution was led by then solicitor-general Mohd Yusof Zainal Abidin.
Following Yusof’s early retirement, Shafee was given a licence to prosecute the case.
He was appointed by then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail on July 11, 2013, to lead the prosecution team in the sodomy trial.
Last week Anwar made a discovery application to direct Najib and Shafee to disclose their bank accounts, following allegations that RM9.5 million had been transferred to the lawyer.