PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s application to the Syariah High Court to charge his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan with criminal defamation (qazaf) is a strategy to delay his case at the High Court, according to Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi.
He claimed that Anwar was trying to get the High Court to postpone the trial because of the case in the Syariah High Court.
“It is a strategy to buy time to delay his case,” he said when commenting on former PKR top gun Datuk Nalla Karuppan’s challenge to Anwar to stop delaying his sodomy trial, which is set to begin on Jan 25.
Dr Mohd Puad said under qazaf, it would require four people of good standing to witness the sodomy for the case to be tried.
Nalla, who is Malaysian Indian United Party president, alleged that the Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser had been trying to delay the sodomy trial by suing various individuals and applying for documents and evidence from both the courts and the prosecution.
The Federal Court last week allowed Anwar time to file an appeal to compel the prosecution to supply documents and inspection of DNA samples, which he claimed were crucial to prepare for his defence.
On Jan 7, 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 at the Syariah High Court.
He wants a court directive to order Shamsuddin to prosecute Mohd Saiful 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 that the other respondents do not stop or influence the chief prosecutor from carrying out his duty in prosecuting Mohd Saiful.