Anwar’s ex-speech writer makes new bid to clear name

Anwar Ibrahim’s former speech writer Munawar Ahmad Anees.

PETALING JAYA: Anwar Ibrahim’s former speech writer Munawar Ahmad Anees is making a fresh attempt to clear his name over an allegedly false confession used in 1998 to implicate the former deputy prime minister in acts of sodomy.

Munawar is making the bid in view of Anwar’s full pardon and exoneration by Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V last month.

His lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon said a writ would be filed in the High Court this week to ask for damages for his “lost life” over the last 20 years as a result of false imprisonment, torture and abuse.

Alternatively, Munawar is asking for a fresh trial to be held, at which the prosecution will be entitled to present all the evidence they have.

Manjeet said the purpose of the trial would be to set aside the false conviction.

He said he had communicated his client’s solution to his predicament to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a lawyer for Anwar, but there was no response.

“My client has instructed me to file the action to seek remedy through the courts.

“Munawar wants to use the legal process to show that he is innocent,” he told FMT.

In September 1998, Munawar pleaded guilty in the Sessions Court to allowing Anwar to sodomise him in a condominium in Bukit Damansara in March 1993.

He was sentenced to six months’ jail, after which he left Malaysia.

Manjeet, in a civil proceeding in 2011, told the court that Munawar was forced to fabricate evidence against Anwar in regard to sodomy.

“They wanted Munawar to implicate Anwar in both sodomising him and being sodomised. They wanted him to lie,” he said.

Munawar, an internationally known scholar in various fields including Islamic civilisation, was arrested under the now repealed Internal Security Act on Sept 14, 1998.

He was held incommunicado until he was produced in court and pleaded guilty to being sodomised by Anwar.

However, he filed an affidavit in court giving details of being subjected to torture.

In 2003, the High Court dismissed Munawar’s appeal as he was absent in court. The Court of Appeal in 2007 affirmed the conviction and sentence.

Munawar attempted to take his case to the Federal Court in 2008 but it was dismissed on grounds that the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear a case that started in the Sessions Court.

He then returned to the Court of Appeal and applied for a review of the 2007 ruling, but failed.

On May 16 this year, Anwar was given a full and unconditional royal pardon, meaning all his past criminal records were erased and he could return to active politics immediately.

The Pakatan Harapan de facto leader said he was pardoned not because he had committed a crime.

“In my case, we appealed (for pardon) because there was a miscarriage, travesty of justice, a conspiracy to condemn me and assassinate my political character.

“The king accepted this, and the pardon is complete and unconditional. The entire conviction is erased automatically,” he said.

Anwar was sentenced to six years for abuse of power in 1999 and served his term. However, the Federal Court in 2004 set aside his sodomy conviction against his wife’s driver Azizan Abu Bakar.

In early 2015, the Federal Court upheld a five-year jail term on Anwar for sexual misconduct involving his political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in June 2008.

Anwar: My pardon is unconditional