Anwar's final bid for freedom to be decided today

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 14 Dec 2016

Anwar supporters waiting for the decision outside the Federal Court.

PUTRAJAYA: It is decision day for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as he seeks to set aside a five-year jail sentence for his second sodomy conviction.

The PKR leader's review application, filed on Apr 30 last year, represents his final legal recourse for freedom after the Federal Court upheld his conviction and jail term on Feb 10 last year.

The Apex Court's five-member panel, chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, is expected to deliver its written judgement on the review application at around 9am today.

The panel had reserved judgement during a one-day hearing on Oct 12, where both parties filed lengthy submissions.

Also in the panel are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum and Federal Court's Justices Hasan Lah, Abu Samah Nordin and Zaharah Ibrahim.

Anwar is being represented by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram while Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid is leading the prosecution.

A group of PKR supporters were seen gathering outside the Palace of Justice here as early as 7am to show solidarity with the former Opposition leader.

There was also a strong police presence with some roads around the building cordoned off for security reasons.

Anwar's review is a rare case in the Federal Court's history, as the fresh panel of judges will deliberate whether the previous panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria had erred in their unanimous ruling to uphold the Court of Appeal's guilty verdict against him for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 31, at a condominium in 2008.

He is serving a five-year jail sentence at the Sungai Buloh prison.

If the review is successful, Anwar could be released from prison and this could pave the way for him to contest in the 14th general election to be held by June 2018.

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