KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been ordered by the High Court here to enter his defence on a charge of sodomising his former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan three years ago.
High Court judge Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah ruled that the prosecution had proved a prima facie case against Anwar.
The court fixed June 6 to 30 for the defence to present its case.
In his judgment yesterday, Justice Mohd Zabidin said he found that the prosecution – through Mohd Saiful’s evidence – had proved all the facts required to establish all the ingredients of the charge.
“Therefore, the accused is called to enter his defence,” he said, adding that Mohd Saiful was a credible witness and that his evidence had remained intact”.
During the trial which lasted 59 days, the defence had tried to discredit Mohd Saiful, alleging that he was not a good Muslim, came from a broken family and that his sister had eloped.
“The court finds all this irrelevant and merits no further consideration in determining his credibility,” he said.
On the defence’s argument that Mohd Saiful’s behaviour did not reflect someone who had been sodomised and that he had not tried to escape when he had the opportunity to do so, the court found that this did not mean that the incident did not occur.
Justice Mohd Zabidin said under normal circumstances, this would mean that the incident was consensual but that it was not relevant to the case.
“I find him to be a truthful witness and his evidence reliable and, if accepted, would establish all the facts required to prove the charge against the accused,” he said.
The court ruled that Mohd Saiful’s testimony was also corroborated by evidence of expert witnesses, including the three Kuala Lumpur Hospital doctors (Dr Mohd Razali Ibrahim, Dr Siew Sheue Feng and Dr Khairul Nizam Hassan) and two chemists (Dr Seah Lay Hong and Nor Aidora Saedon).
He said the court had no difficulty or reason not to accept their evidence.
On the defence’s claims that the DNA evidence had been exposed to degradation and contamination, he agreed with the chemists’ testimony that while there might have been some degradation, it was not enough to destroy the DNA.
“Evidence showed that the DNA swabs were immediately placed in sterile, airtight containers,” he said.
On Aug 7, 2008, Anwar pleaded not guilty to performing carnal intercourse against the order of nature on Mohd Saiful at a condominium unit in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
He is charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code and faces up to 20 years’ jail and whipping.