KL fights to overturn Anwar acquittal
THE government's effort to overturn opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal for sodomy opened yesterday with a battle over the reliability of DNA samples taken from the former aide whom Datuk Seri Anwar allegedly sodomised.
Mr Anwar's former aide, Mr Mohd Saiful Bukhari, accused him of sodomy in June 2008, but he was acquitted in January 2012 after the judge said that the DNA samples were unreliable.
The government is now trying to overturn that acquittal, at a time when Mr Anwar is gearing up to contest a by-election in Selangor and potentially take over as the state's chief minister.
Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the government prosecutor, questioned the judge's dismissal of the DNA evidence. "This finding is completely illogical and misconstrued the facts," he said yesterday.
He argued that government chemists had strived to maintain integrity and security of the samples.
Mr Anwar's lawyer, Mr Karpal Singh, in turn argued that the case's investigating officer, Supt Jude Pereira, had neglected to follow instructions to keep the samples frozen for some 96 hours after extraction, greatly degrading the DNA material.
"On this ground alone, we need not go any further, and the prosecution's case should be dismissed," he told the three-member Court of Appeal bench, headed by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, yesterday.
Mr Anwar has said that the court case is a political ploy to foil his candidacy for the Kajang by-election on March 23. His trial continues today.