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Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 12:25:00 PM
Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 1:37:14 PM
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal on Tuesday has allowed an application by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to recuse a judge sitting in a three-man panel to hear the prosecution's appeal against his acquittal over his sodomy charge.
Justice Ramly Ali, who chaired a three-man panel, allowed the recusal application by Anwar after hearing submissions by both parties.
"It will be another judge to hear (the appeal)," said Justice Ramly.
The two others in the panel are Court of Appeal judges Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh.
Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh has applied to recuse Justice Tengku Maimun on grounds that there was a likelihood of bias in view of her ruling in Anwar's defamation suit against former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on July 9, 2007.
Karpal submitted that Justice Tengku Maimun had adopted remarks from the findings of the Federal Court on Anwar's homosexual tendency when she struck out the civil suit.
"It will not be proper for the judge (Tengku Maimun) to be in the coram. It is proper for the coram to be reinstituted," he said.
Karpal said that the public perception would be against Justice Tengku Maimun to sit and hear the appeal.
His co-counsel Ramkarpal Singh said that the appellate court has also informed them during case management to provide a list of names of judges involved in Anwar's cases in order to exclude them from hearing the appeal.
Lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who has been appointed by the Attorney-General by fiat (authorization) to lead the prosecution team in the appeal, argued that Justice Tengku Maimun did not make any finding of fact in the suit and that there was no element of recusal involved.
"(Justice) Tengku Maimun did not hear the case on evidence but strike out the suit on the issue of abuse of court process.
He said that it was not matter of hearing nor Justice Tengku Maimun make credible finding in court which makes it a proper case for her to further participating in the appeal.
Justice Ramly then set today to hear an application by Karpal to disqualify Muhammad Shafee from leading the prosecution team.
Anwar was acquitted by the High Court on Jan 9 last year for allegedly sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, his former aide, at Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.
Trial judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah had ruled that the court could not be 100% certain, after going through the evidence, that the integrity of the DNA samples had not been compromised.
Justice Mohamad Zabidin said that as the crime was sexual, the court was reluctant to convict based entirely on Saiful’s testimony without corroboration.
Tags / Keywords:
Court, Anwar Ibrahim, Sodomy
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