Saturday, July 24, 2021

Judge removes himself from hearing Anwar’s appeal on sodomy conviction

Kamaludin Md Said says he had handled several other cases involving Anwar Ibrahim when he was with the Attorney-General's Chambers.

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A Court of Appeal judge has recused himself from hearing an appeal brought by Anwar Ibrahim over his suit to invalidate his conviction for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Justice Kamaludin Md Said said he decided to recuse himself from hearing the case as he had handled several other cases involving Anwar when he was with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Anwar’s lawyer Gopal Sri Ram brought to the attention of the Court of Appeal’s three-member panel the fact that Kamaludin had previously disqualified himself from hearing the matter in the High Court.

Kamaludin said he was supposed to hear the case in the High Court before the case was transferred to another court.

He said he had also handled several other cases involving Anwar when he was senior federal counsel.

Anwar’s appeal against the Nov 8, 2017 High Court decision to allow the government’s application to strike out his lawsuit was scheduled to be heard today before the panel comprising Kamaludin, Has Zanah Mehat and Ahmad Nafsy Yasin.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan who appeared for the government and lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, representing lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who was allowed to intervene in the appeal, said they were leaving it to the court.

Kamaludin then instructed the appeal to be sent for case management today to set a new appeal hearing date before another panel.

When contacted, Anwar’s other lawyer J Leela said Court of Appeal deputy registrar Nik Serene Nik Hashim fixed June 29 for the appeal hearing.

Anwar, who is Port Dickson MP, filed the originating summons on June 9, 2017, naming the government as the defendant.

He claimed that he had not been given a fair trial in the appeal against his sodomy conviction.

He also sought a declaration that his conviction by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014 was ultra vires to the Federal Constitution and thus null and void.

He likewise wanted an order that the decision by the Federal Court to uphold the Court of Appeal’s decision was ultra vires and therefore null and void.

In his affidavit, Anwar alleged that Shafee had received RM9.5 million from former prime minister Najib Razak to lead the prosecution team in the appeal over his sodomy conviction.

Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail term for sodomising Saiful were upheld by the Federal Court. He was however given a full pardon by the king on May 16, 2018.

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