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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Anwar Fails To Disqualify Prosecution Team

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 (Bernama) -- The High Court (Appelate and Special Powers Division) Wednesday dismissed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's leave application for judicial review to disqualify the entire prosecution team of his sodomy trial.

Justice Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin in her judgement, said Anwar in his application did not state specifically what act or wrongful act on the part of the prosecution constituted to be bias in his criminal trial.

"In the present case, the applicant is not challenging any specific act or exercise of power by the seven respondents which requires this court to exercise its supervisory powers," said Alizatul.

She said there must be a specific act or unlawful exercise of power which was to be challenged as required under Order 53 of the Rules of High Court 1980 in order to prevent the seven respondents from acting for the public prosecutor or respondents to recuse themselves from this trial.

She added the proper remedy for Anwar's application was the criminal court and not the appelate court.

Alizatul said the applicant seemed to hold the view that no one from AG's office could appear in the case.

"This amounts to undermining and stopping criminal proceedings even though Sivarasa (Anwar's counsel) had submitted that applicant did not mean to stop the whole prosecution team," added Alizatul.

She concluded by saying the application in her view was misconceived and as such, was dismissing the leave application with costs.

Anwar filed the application to disqualify the entire prosecution team in his sodomy case on Aug 11, citing "a real danger of bias" as one of the grounds.

He named Solicitor-General I Datuk Idrus Harun, Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, deputy public prosecutors Datuk Nordin Hassan, Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, Wong Chiang Kiat, Shamsul Sulaiman and Noorin Badaruddin, the Public Prosecutor and the Government, as respondents.

Anwar contended that Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's signing the Section 418A certificate was strongly indicative of the fact that he was the person behind the scenes "pulling and manipulating the strings of the prosecutors to his tune."

Among others, he had sought a declaration that the prosecution team handling his sodomy case was not qualified to represent the public prosecutor or conduct any proceedings or appeals against him.

Anwar, 62, is charged with sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara here on June 26, last year.

Senior federal counsel See Mee Chun, Azizah Nawawi and Shamsul Sulaiman appeared for the public prosecutor. -- BERNAMA

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