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Thursday January 8, 2009

No case against Azmin

PUTRAJAYA: Six years after a Sessions Court convicted Gombak MP Mohamed Azmin Ali of lying in the corruption trial against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the prosecution had no case against him.

It has been eight years, however, since Mohamed Azmin’s ordeal began.

Relieved couple: Azmin and his wife Shamsidar after the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that the prosecution had no case against him.

He was initially acquitted and discharged by Sessions Court judge Hamdan Indah on July 13, 1999, but in February 2000 High Court Justice Abdul Wahab Patail set aside the acquittal and ordered Azmin to enter his defence to the charge of making a false statement on March 9, 1999, during Anwar’s trial.

In May 2001, the PKR vice-president was convicted and sentenced to 18 months’ jail by another Sessions Court judge, Akhtar Tahir.

On Nov 1, 2007, High Court Jus–tice Abdul Kadir Musa upheld Hamdan’s decision to acquit Azmin in 1999.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal panel comprising Justices Md Raus Sharif, Ahmad Ma’arop and Sulaiman Daud dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against that decision.

“Mohamed Azmin should not have been called to make his defence in the Sessions Court,” said Justice Md Raus.

He said there was no issue of perjury, adding that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt its case.

A visibly relieved Mohamed Azmin, who was accompanied by his wife Shamsidar Taharin and PKR supporters, told reporters later he was grateful for the verdict.

“It is the DPP’s right to pursue the case but I have never given a false statement to the court and I am innocent. What I said in court really happened to me.

“Today, the court has verified that I did not give a false statement.”

The statement in question was when he testified:

“I told the magistrate that my remand should not be extended because police brutality and threats against me while in their custody forced me to make a confession involving Anwar which was totally baseless”.

Mohamed Azmin was represented by Datuk C.V. Prabhakaran and Deputy Public Prosecutor Manoj Kurup appeared for the Attorney- General’s Chambers.

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