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Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 6:52:50 AM
PUTRAJAYA: Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah will be the lead prosecutor in the appeal against the acquittal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over his sodomy charge.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the Oppo-sition Leader’s bid to disqualify the prominent lawyer to act as deputy public prosecutor (DPP) had no merits.
Justice Aziah Ali, who chaired a three-man panel, ruled that the statutory declaration (SD) by former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, used by Anwar to support the application, was hearsay and could not be admitted.
“We are of the opinion that the determining issue is whether the SD is admissible evidence to support the application.
“We find the allegations in SD bearing no relevance to the facts of this case,” she said, adding that the SD mainly refers to Anwar’s black eye incident.
“We agree that the SD is hearsay evidence as the maker is not available for cross-examination to ascertain the truth,” said Justice Aziah in a unanimous decision.
Others on the panel were Court of Appeal judges Justices Rohana Yusof and Mohd Zawawi Salleh.
Justice Aziah ruled that the appointment of Shafee was in accordance to law and that the Public Prosecutor was not obliged to provide reasons in exercising his discretionary power in appointing Shafee.
“We do not find that the appointment will deprive a fair trial (to Anwar) as the appeal will be on appeal records.
“The final decision is with the court. The court will scrutinise the appeal records,” she said.
She said no favourable evidence will be held from the court as there are two other senior DPPs – DPP Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria and DPP Noorin Badaruddin – with Shafee in the team.
Anwar had contended that Shafee was not a fit and proper person to lead the prosecution team.
The court has set the prosecution’s appeal against Anwar’s acquittal over his sodomy charge to be heard on Feb 12 and 13.
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.
Later, Anwar said he was disappointed over the court ruling and would appeal to the Federal Court.
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Courts & Crime, Courts & Crime, shafee, disqualified, sodomy
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