Court reserves judgment on Anwar appeal

  • Nation
  • Friday, 21 May 2004

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has reserved its judgment on the appeal against the sodomy conviction and sentence of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his adopted brother, Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja. 

Federal Court judge Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad, who sat with another Federal Court judge, Justice Rahmah Hussain, and Court of Appeal judge Tengku Baharudin Shah Tengku Mahmud, told the appellants they would work on the judgment immediately. 

“I promise to sit down and work uninterruptedly on my judgment and will deliver my grounds of judgment soon,” he said after Anwar's counsel, Karpal Singh, ended his submissions before the court here yesterday. 

At the outset, Anwar's other counsel, Christopher Fernando, said the Court of Appeal had misdirected itself when it endorsed the findings of the trial judge on the issue of Anwar's former family driver. Azizan Abu Bakar. 

He said Azizan admitted three times during Anwar's corruption trial that he was not sodomised by the former deputy prime minister but, later, testified otherwise. 

However, said Fernando, the trial judge had held that Azizan was a truthful, reliable and honest witness. 

“It does not take much imagination to see that the learned judge was grossly in error in his assessment of Azizan's credibility. 

Fernando told the Federal Court that it only needed to be satisfied that a miscarriage of justice had occurred at the lower courts by accepting one of the defence's grounds of appeal. 

Last April 18, the Court of Appeal dismissed Anwar's and Sukma’s appeal against a High Court decision on Aug 8, 2000, which convicted them of sodomising Anwar’s former family driver Azizan Abu Bakar. The offence took place at Sukma’s apartment at Tivoli Villa, here, between January and March 1993. 

The Federal Court will hear submissions for Anwar and Sukma's bail application today.  

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