Anwar’s Trial postpone tomorrow 9 Feb.2010(updated)
The application was filed at 9am when the hearing resumed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.
Lead counsel Karpal Singh (right) said Justice Mohamad Zabidin Md Diah had failed to initiate contempt proceedings against Utusan Malaysia, or even caution the Malay-language newspaper in two instances:
- over the use of the word lagi in the headline Tak rela diliwat lagi (not willing to be sodomised again) on its front page report, and Berhenti kerana tidak mahu diliwat lagi (resigned because he did not want to be sodomised again) on page 3 on Feb 4; and
- because of a caption on the front page on Feb 5.
Chief prosecutor Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden told the court that he would have to file affidavit-in-reply.
Hearing was then adjourned to tomorrow morning, with Justice Mohamad Zabidin hearing the application first.
Anwar said in his supporting affidavit that he was amazed and in utter disbelief when the judge ruled that there was nothing wrong with the photo caption.
Utusan had published the Bernama photo and caption stating that it showed Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan (the complainant) pointing to the bed “where he had allegedly been sodomised by Anwar”.
The judge had said the details had been mentioned in open court and therefore the report was “not mischievous”, and therefore there were no grounds to initiate contempt proceedings.
Disputing this, Anwar said there had been no mention of details relating to the incident in open court or in the notes of proceedings, both written and audio.
Anwar said he had heard Mohamed Yusof asking Karpal to meet the judge in chambers together with him, to make a case for reversing the ruling and cautioning Utusan in open court.
“Karpal declined. Mohamed Yusof appeared shaken, having initially objected to my lawyer’s application. Mohamed Yusof’s reaction clearly points on one direction and one direction alone – that the trial judge was wrong in the decision he had made,” said Anwar in the affidavit.
“I respectfully state that the rulings by Justice Mohamad Zabidin bring to surface an element of real danger of bias. The judge has not adjudicated upon the applications made by my counsel with an independent mind. Based on Article 5(1) of the federal constitution, I am entitled to a fair trial and hence the judge ought to recuse himself.”
‘Minor issues played up’
Outside the court, Anwar described the situation as “a political trial with the unfair use of the local media”.
“You can see this in the trial, with what was not said (being) reported. All we want is a fair and just trial. But we have been prevented (from getting one by) the Umno-controlled media,” he said.
“We will have to work hard to give the correct picture as what the public are getting from the local media could be distorted. They did that in 1998 where the minor issues are being played big while the major issues are given minor coverage. Either they are completely ignorant or in a state of denial.”
Anwar said the media had played up Mohd Saiful’s (right) testimony about the trousers, saying this was intended to smear and implicate him.
“This happened in 1998 (during the first sodomy trial). But just like then, the truth will prevail, insya’allah (god willing).
“They gave lies to confuse the people (about) the bed, when there was no testimony in court (relating to this). Furthermore, it was done in camera. If this is the way the court handles the matter, I am worried that I will not get justice.”
He claimed that it is clear the prosecution is using the local media to discredit him. He reiterated that he is not criticising Utusan Malaysia or questioning its credibility, but that he is merely seeking justice.
Today’s proceedings had been scheduled to see the cross-examination of the complainant and first prosecution witness Mohd Saiful.
Anwar is accused of sodomising Mohd Saiful at Unit 11-5-1 Kondominium Desa Damansara, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26, 2008.
Anwar, 63, is charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code and could be sentenced up to 20 years in jail and whipping upon conviction.
Mohd Saiful is expected to be cross-examined by Karpal Singh, who is heading the defence team comprising Param Cumaraswamy, CV Prabhakaran, SN Nair, Ram Karpal Singh Deo, Marisa Regina Fernando and Mohd Razlan Jalaluddin.