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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Appeal court rejects Anwar's bid to recall ex-officer

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to recall former Supt Judy Blacious Pereira, a prosecution witness in his sodomy case, over the issue of the retired investigating officer’s credibility.

The three-member panel, led by Court of Appeal judge Aziah Ali, unanimously rejected the application made by Anwar’s lead counsel Karpal Singh.

Earlier, Karpal told the court the testimony by the retired investigating officer, popularly known as Jude Pereira, needed to be re-examined because his bid to be admitted as a lawyer was rejected by the Kuala Lumpur High Court last month.

Karpal said the rejection reflected negatively on Pereira’s credibility as a witness during the Opposition Leader’s sodomy proceedings.

After the ruling, Karpal applied for stay of the prosecution appeal proceedings pending appeal to the Federal Court.

Justice Aziah said Anwar had failed to prove the circumstance that the basis of his application was exceptional.

She held that additional evidence would only be allowed if the court thought it was necessary.

She said the court found that sodomy trial judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah had not only relied on the evidence of Pereira but also evidence from the complainant (Saiful Bukhari) and doctors who testified in the trial.

“The recall of Pereira will not have important influence in the end of the prosecution’s case,” she said.

Justice Aziah granted Karpal’s application, saying: “We are concerned with the continuous delay (to hear the merits of the appeal).

“We are conscious the court has to be fair and seen to be fair and we do not want to deprive the applicant (Anwar) of his remedies if there is any right to appeal,” she said.

The panel, which also comprised Justices Rohana Yusuf and Mohd Zawawi Salleh, fixed Feb 28 for case management.

The court initially fixed yesterday to hear the prosecution appeal against Anwar’s acquittal on the charge of sodomising former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The prosecution appeal was led by DPP Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Justice Aziah said the High Court decision to reject Pereira’s petition to be a lawyer was based on findings by Suhakam that he did not tell the truth during an inquiry.

Anwar was alleged to have sodomised Saiful Bukhari at a Desa Bukit Damansara condominium unit on June 26, 2008.

On Jan 9, 2012, Justice Mohamad Zabidin acquitted Anwar of the offence.

Tags / Keywords: Politics , Courts Crime , Anwar Ibrahim , karpal singh , saiful bukhari , sodomy , high court , court of apapeal


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