Anwar faces early hurdles over ‘qazaf’ application

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 14 Jan 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Territory Syarie chief prosecutor is raising an objection that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s application to compel him to charge the PKR leader’s former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan for qazaf (making false allegation) has procedural defects.

Two other respondents named by Anwar – Islamic Religious Department director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom – are raising similar objections.

The trio’s lead counsel Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar told the Syariah High Court yesterday that his clients would be filing a preliminary objection against Anwar’s application based on three issues.

“The first is that the Syariah High Court has no jurisdiction to hear such an application while the second issue is that there are many procedural defects in the application under the Mal Procedure (Syariah Court) Act 1998,” he said.

“Another issue is over Anwar’s co-counsel Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Nordin’s status to represent the Opposition Leader,” said Zainul.

He contended that Zulkifli’s appearance in the proceedings would be a conflict of interest and a breach of ethics under the Syariah practice directions.

He said he would file an affidavit-in-reply and the documents over the objection by Feb 17.

Anwar’s lead counsel Kamar Ainiah Kamaruzaman said she did not receive any affidavit-in-reply from the respondents and that Anwar could not attend the proceedings as he was attending an international ulamak conference in Beirut.

Syarie judge Mohd Shukor Sabudin set Feb 17 for mention pending proper filing by the parties.

Speaking to reporters later, Kamar Ainiah said the respondents had to file the documents within 14 days and she would reply to their objections for smooth proceedings.

Anwar, 63, wants a court directive to order Federal Territory Syarie chief prosecutor Shamsuddin Hussain to prosecute Mohd Saiful, 25, for qazaf under Section 41 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997.

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