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Victory for Anwar - Malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

The prosecution team in Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial suffered another blow when the High Court rejected its application to review a decision by the Sessions Court yesterday.

The lower court had yesterday ruled to hear the merits of an objection raised by Anwar's legal team against the prosecution application to transfer the case to a higher court.

The prosecution had filed the application yesterday to review the decision of Sessions judge SM Komathy Suppiah who had dismissed the prosecution's objection to a hearing on the proposed transfer of Anwar's sodomy case.

Komathy had ruled that she had the discretion to hear submissions on the defence objection questioning the validity of the certificate produced by the prosecution to transfer the case to the High Court.

In doing so, she rejected the preliminary objection by the prosecution which contended that it was mandatory for the Sessions Court, under Section 418A (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, to transfer the case to the High Court once the transfer certificate had been issued by the prosecution.

The High Court's rejection to hear the review was made through a letter dated yesterday and addressed to chief prosecutor of the case, Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden.

A copy of the one-page letter was also sent to Komathy and Anwar's lawyers.

High Court judge not satisfied

The letter, which was signed by KL High Court senior assistant registrar Haslina Basarudin, said that the prosecution application for the review was referred to High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah yesterday.

"After studying the letter, the judge is of the view that the revision on the ruling concerning the preliminary objection which was made by the learned Sessions Court judge shouldn't be made at this stage," said Haslina.

"The learned Sessions Court judge should be given the chance to hear and decide on the merits of the preliminary objection of the defence (on the case transfer) before any action of revision is made.

"Therefore the hearing in merits of the defence's preliminary objection should continue in the Sessions Court," she added.

Meanwhile, back in the Sessions Court, justice Komathy today continued to hear submissions from Anwar's lawyers on why they were objecting the prosecution application to transfer the case to the High Court.

Anwar, 60, has been charged in the Sessions Court with sodomising his former aide, Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in a condo four months ago.

The prosecution later sought to have the case transferred to the High Court but the defence argued that the certificate of transfer was invalid because it was signed by attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail who was being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency following a police report filed by Anwar.

Later, when met by reporters during a break in the trial, Mohd Yusof rejected claims that the High Court rejection was a blow to the prosecution.

"Nothing is final until it is final," he said. -

Looks like we really have an impartial judge here. Or is this all just an act?