KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer accused Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor today of masterminding the sodomy charge being faced by the Opposition Leader.
“As I said, there’s a black hand in this trial, and that is the hand of the present Prime Minister..there are two hands and one is of his wife,” Karpal Singh told the court today.
Anwar echoed Karpal’s accusations by shouting from the dock the words “conspiracy, blatant lies.”
Karpal's accusations was the latest allegation flung by the defence against the PM and his wife, in what appears to be an attempt to link them to an alleged "political conspiracy."
Both Najib and Rosmah has been listed down as witnesses the defence wants to call during the trial.
Karpal was addressing the court soon after the sodomy trial resumed today after he failed in his bid to disqualify High Court judge Datuk Zabidin Mohd Diah from presiding over the case.
Karpal had wanted to disqualify the judge because of dissatisfaction with the way the court had dealt with Utusan Malaysia’s coverage of the trial.
The veteran lawyer has been unrelenting in his onslaught on the judge by citing what he claimed were examples of the judge’s lack of objectivity with regards to an Utusan Malaysia report on the trial published at the beginning of Saifu Bukhari’s questioning by the prosecution.
Zabidin, in summing up his decision, said he did not see any reason why he should recuse himself from the case.
“If I were to step down from this trial, I would be running away from my responsibility as a judge who has taken an oath of office,” said Zabidin.
Karpal gave notice to the court that Anwar’s defence team would be filing an application for appeal against the decision of the judge not to recuse himself from hearing the trial.
He also urged that the trial go on and the defence team be allowed to cross-examine Saiful, and that there be no more delays.
“Accusations of delay tactics by the defence must be cleared from people’s minds,” said Karpal to the court.
At this point, Solicitor-General 2 Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden replied by stating that neither the prosecution nor the judge had ever accused the defence of utilising delay tactics in the trial.
Karpal then retorted by saying that some media organisations had been doing so.
“We are prepared to carry on. There have been demonstrations, too many things going, like the protest at the Australian Embassy.
“We don’t want a repetition of it and Pemuda Umno cannot be allowed to run wild.”
Yusof, on the other hand, stressed that the trial must continue as the defence and the prosecution owed it to the Malaysian public, not the Australians, to do so.
The judge decided, however, to adjourn the trial until March 25 pending the appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The 62-year-old Anwar is accused of sodomising Saiful at the Desa Damansara Condominium here on June 26, 2008. Anwar has denied the charge, the second time in 12 years he has faced similar charges.
The former deputy prime minister has vehemently denied the accusations hurled by Saiful, describing them as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him. He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in August 2008.
Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences. He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.
He had earlier led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.
(Source: The Malaysian Insider)