KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has applied to the Syariah High Court to order the Syarie chief prosecutor to charge his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who accused him of sodomy, with criminal defamation (qazaf).
Anwar, 62, named Federal Territory Syarie chief prosecutor Shamsuddin Hussain, Islamic Religious department director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom as respondents in his application yesterday.
The PKR leader wants a court directive to order Shamsuddin to prosecute Mohd Saiful, 24, for qazaf under Section 41 of the Syariah Criminal Act 1997.
The Opposition Leader is also asking the court to use its power to ensure the other respondents do not stop or influence the chief prosecutor from carrying out his duty in prosecuting Mohd Saiful.
Anwar, who was accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and four lawyers, filed the application at the Syariah High Court registry here yesterday.
Speaking to reporters later, the Permatang Pauh MP said it was his right to protect his dignity and reputation as guaranteed by Islamic law.
“I believe the Syariah High Court has the exclusive power to hear the qazaf offence as the civil court has no jurisdiction over this,” he added.
When contacted by The Star, his lead counsel Kamar Ainiah Kamaruzaman said the qazaf charge would not have any relation to the sodomy trial set to be heard at the High Court Criminal here on Jan 25.
“They are two separate offences which involve different evidence and witnesses. In qazaf, the elements to be proven must follow the Quran, where the accuser must produce four witnesses,” Kamar added.
Anwar also expressed his surprise at Jamil’s statement in Parliament on Oct 27 last year, in which the minister said the qazaf charge against Mohd Saiful could only proceed after the sodomy charges is heard at the civil High Court.