Friday, September 4, 2009

Anwar's Bid To Disqualify Prosecution A Blatant Abuse, Says Senior Federal Counsel

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's application to disqualify the entire prosecution team of his sodomy trial is nothing less than a blatant abuse of the process of the court, the High Court here heard on Thursday.

Senior Federal Counsel See Mee Chun submitted that the court should dismiss the application on the ground that Anwar was seeking to prohibit the prosecution team from performing their statutory duties.

"This application is baseless. We submit that this application be struck out or dismissed with costs," See said.

She said the conduct of the prosecution in respect of the sodomy case was non-reviewable by the appelate court.

"The bid is an "outright" attack on the powers of the Attorney-General under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution," she added.

She also submitted that Anwar's application was to undermine the successful prosecution of the criminal trial.

Anwar filed an 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 is seeking a declaration that the prosecution team handling his sodomy case is not qualified to represent the public prosecutor or conduct any proceeding or appeal 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.

See also submitted further that allegations of bias, prosecutorial misconduct and conflict of interest against the respondents were baseless.

She said all issues related to the 1998 sodomy trial had been decided by the courts and a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Earlier, Anwar's counsel R. Sivarasa submitted that leave for judicial review should be granted to restrain the respondents from exercising their powers maliciously against his client.

"In exercising their powers they must perform their duties impartially and in accordance with the basic notion of natural justice," argued Sivarasa.

He said the application should not be misunderstood as an intent to stop or derail the sodomy trial.

"What we are saying is that these seven respondents are tainted with bias, the Attorney-General has many other prosecutors to take over this trial," added Sivarasa.

Justice Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin fixed Sept 15 for a decision on the leave application.


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