By Wong Choon Mei [Updated]
It has been a year since Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was accused by the Malaysian government of sodomising a staff, but until now, he says Prime Minister Najib Razak’s regime has refused to provide him with key information on the charges filed against him, including even the most basic police report.
With his trial due to start on July 1, the reform icon has been forced to apply for a High Court order to get the prosecution to provide him with documents pertaining to his sodomy case before hearing begins.
According to his lawyer Sankara Nair, the withholding of the crucial information was to “deprive and or conceal from our client the evidence that is favourable to him in his defence”.
It also prevented Anwar from checking and verifying the veracity and authenticity of original DNA and other samples that may form crucial evidence.
“This is to deny our client a fair trial,” Sankara said in a statement.
“Save for the earlier delivery of just one statement and a few photo prints picked out of a purported CCTV recording, nothing else that was requested by us have been supplied.”
Persecuted like Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi
The former deputy premier, who is now the de-facto head of opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, has already pleaded not guilty.
The slim-built 61-year old leader was charged with sodomising his former personal aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a strapping 23-year old, at Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium between 3.01 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26, last year.
Anwar has counter-accused Prime Minister Najib of fabricating the case against him.
Indeed the case broke as Anwar announced intentions to contest the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, which he later still won despite the allegations. The crucial victory sealed his return as a lawmaker and parliamentary opposition head.
The US State Department has also gone record to say that they believe Anwar was framed to tarnishing his political image and credibility.
Like Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, Anwar is a democracy icon and has been persecuted for challenging a corrupt Umno-BN regime now led by Najib, who has increasingly resorted to police crackdowns and sham trials to cling to power.
“The Public Prosecutor has much to hide and as such this prosecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is clearly an abuse, frivolous, unjust and is tantamount to a political persecution.
“In the name of justice, we again call upon the Public Prosecutor to withdraw the charge against our client with immediate effect,” said Sankara.
In the court notice filed on Wednesday, Anwar wants the documents to reach him before the July 1 to 24 trial begins.
He has asked for the original CCTV recordings alleged to have been taken at Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setia Kasih, Bukit Damansara between June 25 to 27, 2008, DNA samples, statements from witnesses including the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, police statements and several other documents.
Anwar also applied to the court to acquit and free him immediately if the government could not comply. Otherwise, the court should suspend proceedings on his sodomy case permanently, he said.