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Anwar's sodomy trial - judge to rule (malaysiakini)

With all the excitement and publicity (Malaysiakini's reports here) surrounding the second Anwar sodomy trial (Sodo Mee II), The Star has written a news article that has not been broken by Malaysiakini yet. Check back here for more news on Sodo Mee II later tonight:

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister does not have the authority to say that the Attorney-General (AG) will not be involved in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial, the Sessions Court heard.

Senior DPP Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden told the court that as the AG, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was empowered by the Parliament to transfer cases from the subordinate courts to the superior courts. “The Prime Minister cannot make a statement on behalf of the AG.

“Even if the Prime Minister is said to have authority, it must be made in accordance of the law. Of course, we respect the Prime Minister’s decision, but he is not in the legal position to say this,” Mohd Yusof said on Friday.

Anwar had on Aug 7 claimed trial to sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26.

He is opposing the prosecution’s attempt to transfer his case to the High Court by challenging the validity of the certificate to transfer signed by the AG.

Mohd Yusof’s argument came as a rebuttal to Anwar’s lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah who had earlier submitted that the Prime Minister had given his assurance that Abdul Gani and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who were implicated in Anwar’s trials 10 years ago, would not be involved this time around.

Sulaiman argued that as such, Abdul Gani was disqualified and the certificate he signed was not valid.

At this juncture, judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah questioned the DPP if it was true that the AG was the legal adviser to the Prime Minister, to which he replied: “Yes”.

Komathy: Would it be safe to assume that the Prime Minister would have consulted the AG before making the statement?

Mohd Yusof: Yes, but the statement would not be binding on the AG.

Komathy: Yes, I know it would not be binding on the AG, but he is also the legal adviser to the Government. Would it not be safe to assume that the Prime Minister would have consulted him first?

Mohd Yusof: The Prime Minister is also a politician. If people ask him, he would say something that people would want to hear in good faith.

Komathy: But it would be reasonable to assume that he would not make a statement without consulting the AG?

Mohd Yusof: That would be speculation. I don’t wish to speculate.

Komathy: But he is the Prime Minister.

Mohd Yusof: He’s not legally competent to make a statement which would give rise to such an expectation.

Komathy: Point taken.

Later, in his reply, Sulaiman said that Mohd Yusof’s arguments would only make sense if he was saying that “justice cannot prevail in this (Sessions) court, so we have to move it to the High Court”.

“But that cannot be what he’s saying, so there is no logical explanation as to why the case should be transferred,” he concluded.

The judge fixed Nov 7 for the decision.