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Published: Wednesday February 3, 2010 MYT 10:54:00 AMUpdated: Wednesday February 3, 2010 MYT 8:04:39 PM
By M. MAGESWARI, LISA GOH and LESTER KONG
KUALA LUMPUR: The second sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim saw the same level of lurid details surfacing as they did in his first about 12 years ago as his accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan took the stand as the first witness.
Mohd Saiful, 24, who was Anwar’s personal aide at the time in question on June 26 2008. said he was invited to a Desa Damansara condominium here where he handed over some documents to the Opposition leader, who then said, “Can I f--- you?”
Mohd Saiful claimed he was angry and scared upon hearing the question from Anwar, who is also PKR adviser and Pematang Pauh MP.
“I rejected his request. I told him that I did not want to do it,” he said.
He said Anwar then responded in an angry tone, “What?”
“I repeated my words. I was not willing to do it. He was angry. At that time I was afraid,” Mohd Saiful said on Wednesday, the first day of the trial.
He said Anwar immediately directed him to go to the master bedroom.
“I went to the room. Shortly after, Anwar entered the room and went straight to the edge to close the curtain there,” the eldest of two siblings said.
Mohd Saiful, who did not complete his degree in electrical power engineering at Universiti Tenaga Nasional, said he just stood there while Anwar went on to switch off the lights.
Asked if the room was dark, he said there was still light from the washroom and in between the curtain.
“Anwar asked me to clean up in the washroom. I removed my clothes and cleaned my body but did not have a shower. I took a towel from the washroom and used it. I hung my clothes on the knob of the closet,” he said.
Anwar stood at the edge of the bed.
“He was clad in a towel and directed me to go to him and then hugged me while we were standing,” he said.
At that point, Anwar’s lead counsel Karpal Singh asked the court to allow the proceedings to be held in camera (closed proceedings).
Lead prosecutor Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden however said it was up to the court to decide on the matter in the interest of justice.
High Court judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah ordered the proceedings adjourned until 9.30am Thursday and to be held in camera.
In 1998, Anwar was convicted and jailed for 15 years on charges of abuse of power and sodomy. The sodomy verdict was overturned in 2004.
At the outset of proceedings on Wednesday, the first prosecution witness testified that it all started with Anwar asking him to meet him at the Desa Damansara condominium on that day.
Questioned by DPP Mohd Yusof, Mohd Saiful said that Anwar asked him at his office in Section 16, Petaling Jaya on June 26 morning to meet up with him at the condominium that day.
He said the Opposition leader asked him to go to the condominium to discuss his meeting with a professor at the same condominium and also to discuss his working schedule.
He said Anwar asked him to be at the condominium at 2.15pm that day.
He said he had been to the condominium many times and had been informed by the PKR adviser that the condominium unit belonged to one “Hasanuddin.”
Upon reaching the condominium in a van at 2.45pm that day, Mohd Saiful said he was queried by a security guard at the guardhouse over his visit, but he just replied “Mokhtar.”
Asked on why he used “Mokhtar” as a password to enter the condominium, he said he was told to do so by a worker there before.
He said he parked the van at the visitors’ parking lot and took a lift to basement two.
He said he had to pass by a door to go to a block where there was a specific intercom where a person would answer to allow access to the condominium unit.
Upon saying the keyword “Mokhtar” he was allowed access that day.
“I went to the fifth floor and come across a man who smiled at me,” he said.
He said he went to the unlocked condominium unit and placed his shoes on the left side of the door.
“I saw Anwar sitting at a dining table,” he said.
He said he brought some documents, kept in a black file, which was given to him by a staff member to be delivered to the Permatang Pauh MP.
“I gave him the documents. We discussed the working schedule. Then Anwar asked me a question in English. ‘Can I f*** you today?’ “ Mohd Saiful, who was clad in blue coat, said after bowing his head and taking some time to reply to the question by the lead prosecutor.
On his working background, Mohd Saiful said he was invited by his friend Rahimi Osman in early March 2008 to work with the PKR leader.
He said he was needed as a volunteer to handle, among other duties, an election campaign and motivational talks.
He said Anwar appointed him his personal aide at the end of April that year, and his duties included arranging confidential meetings, filing documents and sorting his SMSes.
He said he was paid RM1,000 a month as official salary but received allowances during overseas trips, such as US$1,000 for Singapore.
After the day in question, Mohd Saiful said he later sent an email to Anwar using his Blackberry to express his desire to resign from the job, citing two reasons.
“I said that I was not disciplined enough and often came to work late and he (Anwar) always scolded me. The second reason was that I was given my own room at the PKR office, which caused me some distress as I was less qualified compared with other staff.
“I told him that as long as I was his personal aide, it would be an issue for him as I was less qualified.
“The real reason (I quit) was that I was not willing to be treated as per stated in the charge,” he added.
Earlier, the judge also allowed an application by Karpal to expunge a part in the first information report lodged by Mohd Saiful over the word “last time,” which would imply that the complainant was sodomised by Anwar many times.
In his ruling, Justice Mohamad Zabidin said he agreed with the submission by Karpal and co-counsel Datuk C.V. Prabakaran that the word would imply that there were many such incidents on the same day.
Karpal argued that the word would show evidence of bad character on the part of his client when the prosecution had only framed a sodomy charge against Anwar.
“You are the judge and jury of the trial. Any document which is prejudicial evidence that ought to be expunged, you should decide. We do not need case law but common sense. It is permissible under the law,” he said.
Prabakaran argued that the word was prejudicial to Anwar as it implicated there were previous similar offences or actions before.
DPP Mohd Yusof said the court should consider the fact that the allegation or report was for the police to investigate and the prosecution had only framed a charge against him.
’We will prove it’
Earlier, the prosecution, in its opening statement, said they would prove that the semen specimens taken from Mohd Saiful’s anus belonged to Anwar, as confirmed by the Chemistry Department.
The prosecution also said they would establish the sodomy charge against Anwar “beyond reasonable doubt,” through direct evidence from Mohd Saiful and forensic testimony from doctors and chemists.
Apart from these, they also said that circumstantial and documentary evidence would also be tendered.
Mohd Yusof, who read the opening statement, said Anwar was charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code for having carnal intercourse against the order of nature with Mohd Saiful on June 26, 2008, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm at the Desa Damansara Condominium.
Mohd Yusof said that on June 26, 2008, at about 10.30am, Anwar had in in his office, asked Mohd Saiful, who was then his special aide, to go to the Desa Damansara Condominium at 2.30pm the same day.
“At 1.45pm that day, Mohd Saiful had left his office for the condominium and arrived there at about 3pm.
“At the condominium, Mohd Saiful entered Unit 11-5-1 on the fifth floor. When he entered the unit, he saw the accused sitting at the dining table alone,” Mohd Yusof said.
He further said that it was at this unit that Mohd Saiful had been sodomised by the accused. The complainant left the condominium unit at about 4pm.
The statement further said Mohd Saiful had lodged a police report on June 28 over the sodomy incident that had occurred at the Desa Damansara Condominiumon June 26, 2008.
On the same day (June 28), Mohd Saiful had gone for a medical examination at the KL Hospital.
Mohd Yusof also told the court that Mohd Saiful’s tissue samples had been taken by the doctor who examined him for DNA testing.
Earlier in Putrajaya, both parties met Court of Appeal president Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff at his chambers to get an early date for the review application by Anwar over the Federal Court ruling which refuse him access to key documents.
The defence team comprised lead counsel Karpal, Sankara Nair, Datuk Param Cumaraswamy and Prabakaran.
The prosecution team comprised Mohd Yusof, deputy head of prosecution division (policy) DPP Datuk Nordin Hassan and DPP Wong Chiang Kiat.
They met for about 50 minutes.
Speaking to reporters at the court lobby later, Karpal said Justice Alauddin told them that he would get a date for the hearing of review application by the end of this week.
“I pressed for tomorrow (the hearing of review application) but Justice Alauddin said he will try his best to get the date by end of this week,” said Karpal.
Asked by reporters, he said the defence team was trying their “level best” to get documents for the preparation of Anwar’s defence.
“It is important to get the documents to plan our strategy,” he said.
Karpal added he would file a stay application by way of notice of motion at the Court of Appeal by tomorrow to stay the proceedings at the High Court.
The stay application is pending the disposal of an appeal by Anwar at the Court of Appeal on his failure to strike out his sodomy charge at the High Court.
Blow-by-blow account of today’s proceedings:
5.15pm: Court adjourns to 9.30am tomorrow, proceedings will be in-camera due to sensitivity of the testimony.
Earlier in his testimony, Mohd Saiful Bukhari says he was instructed to go to the Desa Damansara condominium at 2.30pm on the day in question to discuss working arrangements with Anwar. He claims that when he handed some documents to Anwar, the latter said, “Can I f--- you?”
4.34pm: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s daughter and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar leaves the court complex.
PKR strategic director Tian Chua briefs and gives pep talk to PKR supporters about the trial.
4.25pm: More than 20 PKR supporters carrying banners and signs protest against the trial outside the KL Court Complex. Two of them are wearing masks of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
3.46pm: Mohd Saiful Bukhari takes the stand.
He begins by talking about his education background, saying he quit his studies because he was not doing well. He identifies Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the court. Mohd Saiful describes his job responsibilities as personal assistant to the Opposition leader, which included organising secret meetings with Barisan Nasional MPs.
3.45pm: The prosecution, in its opening statement, says they will prove that semen stains taken from Mohd Saiful Bukhari’s anus belong to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The prosecution says they will establish the sodomy charge against Anwar beyond reasonable doubt. They contend that they will prove the case from direct evidence from Mohd Saiful and forensic testimony from doctors and chemists.
Apart from these, circumstantial and documentary evidence will also be tendered, the prosecution says.
Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden said that Mohd Saiful had gone for a medical examination at the KL Hospital on June 28, 2008 over the sodomy incident. He said Mohd Saiful’s tissue samples had been taken by the doctor who examined him for DNA testing.
Mohamed Yusof said Mohd Saiful had lodged a police report on the same day over the sodomy incident that had ocurred at the Desa Damansara Condominium on June 26, 2008.
The prosecution says it will prove that Mohd Saiful had gone to Unit 11-5-1 on the fifth floor of the condominium on that day. At that time, Mohd Saiful saw Anwar was sitting alone and eating. He was sodomised by Anwar at the unit. Mohd Saiful left the unit at about 4pm.
3.39pm: Charge read to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He responds and says that the charge is malicious in intent.
3.24pm: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim enters the courtroom.
3.20pm: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim files petition against Dec 1 High Court decision to dismiss his application to strike out the sodomy charge against him. He does so after receiving appeals record at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya this morning.
3.05pm: Court adjourns briefly. Lead counsel Karpal Singh tells Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah that he will meet Court of Appeal president Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff on Thursday to persuade him to set up a hearing date for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal at the Court of Appeal over his failure to strike out the sodomy charge.
Karpal says he has just been served with the record of appeal over the earlier High Court ruling on the striking out application, and is therefore going to file a petition of appeal so that the appeal can be heard.
“Anwar is within court premises in the process of getting the affidavit ready to file the appeal,” Karpal says.
The court stands down.
2.49pm: Lead counsel Karpal Singh enters the courtroom.
2.37pm: PKR strategic director Tian Chua still barred from entering courtroom with banner. About 20 PKR members and supporters, led by Tian Chua and former Gerak Malaysia chief Nazri Yunus, start chanting “Reformasi” and other slogans. They carry banners declaring “Perhimpunan bantah fitnah ke-2.”
2.25pm: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang arrive. Shouts of “Reformasi” ensue.
2.23pm: Subang MP R. Sivarasa arrives and joins PKR strategic director Tian Chua in trying to convince the police to allow the latter to carry the banner into the courtroom.
2.22pm: PKR strategic director Tian Chua tries to enter the court carrying a folded banner and is stopped by the police and Special Branch officers. With him are three supporters including Kampung Hj Abdullah Hukum PKR chief Roslan Mat, who are seen trying to negotiate with the police.
Tian Chua says there is no legal reason for the police to stop him from carrying a banner.
2.20pm: Defence lawyer Datuk Param Cumaraswamy arrives, followed a minute later by his co-counsel Sankara Nair.
2.05pm: PKR vice-president Mohd Azmin Ali arrives at the KL Court Complex.
2pm: Half-hour to the trial and still no sign of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PKR and Anwar supporters, compared to the crowd on Tuesday. No roadblocks have been set up outside the court complex.
1.45pm: Counsel for defence Karpal Singh and Ram Karpal arrive at court complex for the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial.
1.45pm: Police and General Operations Force (GOF) personnel form a line at top of stairs leading to court lobby to prevent anyone with a videocamera or camera from entering.
12 noon: Dozens of police and General Operations Force (GOF) personnel begin deploying outside the KL Court Complex before the start of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial.
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