Anwar and his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail walking out of the court room at Putrajaya
PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years' jail by the Court of Appeal which found him guilty of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan five years ago.
Justice Balia Yusof Wahi, who led a three-man panel in hearing the prosecution's appeal in the case, granted Anwar's application for a stay of the sentence pending appeal with bail of RM10,000 with one surety.
Justice Balia ordered Anwar to pay the bail before 11am on Monday.
During the proceedings, the court was disturbed by Anwar's supporters who made noises and shouted in court resulting in Justice Balia warning them to stop it.
In overturning the High Court's decision in acquitting Anwar, Justice Balia said the panel unanimously held that the trial judge had erred in his findings that the integrity of DNA samples used in the case had been compromised.
Anwar was charged with sodomising Saiful, then 23, at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara between 3.10 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26, 2008.
Anwar's counsel Karpal Singh, speaking to reporters later, said that with this ruling, Anwar could not file his nomination papers for the Kajang state seat by-election this Tuesday.
Justice Balia said the court found that the trial judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah had misdirected himself in failing to judiciously appreciate the integrity of the DNA samples.
Justice Balia, who presided over the appeal with justices Datuk Aziah Ali and Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh, said the trial judge failed to critically examine the evidence by two chemists, Dr Seah Lay Hong and Nor Aidora Saedon, on tampering evidence regarding the samples.
He said that the trial judge had misconstrued when concluding there was tampering of the plastic bags (containing the samples) which compromised the integrity of the receptacles.
"We have scrutinised the evidence of Jude Blacious Pereira, the investigation officer in the case, and we are satisfied with his evidence. What he did was cut the bottom of the plastic and put the receptacles in the envelope.
"We are of the view that the tampering of evidence was on the plastic bags and not on the samples," said Justice Balia.
The court also said that the trial judge had erred in law in accepting the foreign defence experts' evidence who were deemed as "no more than armchair experts".
"We allow the appeal and set aside the High Court order, the respondent (Anwar) is found guilty of the charge," said the judge.
The judge gave both parties, Karpal Singh and lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, one hour's time to for the mitigation process before the court passed sentence on Anwar.
Karpal told the court that he needed a week to prepare mitigation as he and Anwar were involved in a Parliament sitting next Monday.
Muhammad Shafee objected to Karpal Singh's request and urged the court to hold the mitigation today and said that he was also unprepared with the authorities, but was prepared to submit today.
At this juncture, Anwar interjected by saying "Tak payah saya nak sekarang, sekarang boleh juga" (No need, I want it (mitigation) now)" resulting in his supporters shouting "Allahuakhbar" in court.
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