Today (31st October 2014) concludes day one of the highly anticipated reply by the prosecution to the many things that were brought up by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s defence team.
I have to be honest that as an objective person following the Sodomy II trial, I am disappointed by Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah’s performance.
I was sincerely hoping that he would bring his A game and rebut with facts every point the defence submitted. Shouldn’t he be darn good at what he does considering the Attorney General overlooked all the DPP’s under his charge?
Regarding Anwar’s alleged alibi witness, Shafee questioned why the witnesses would be scared of the police when the police only wanted to interview them. Seems like a valid question
However, years ago, in an unsworn statement from the dock, Anwar claimed that “Haji Hasanuddin bin Abd Hamid, had been harassed by the police for a total of thirty hours in the recording of his statements which were all video recorded.”
Solving this problem wouldn’t require one to be a rocket scientist. A simple review of the videos from the interrogation would allow the courts to see whether or not Anwar’s allegation about the witness being harassed is baseless
Another thing I failed to comprehend is how the defence never filed for a subpoena to compel Haji Hasanuddin to appear before the courts. Considering his ownership of the unit where the alleged sodomy took place, and the possibility that he could provide Anwar with an alibi, what he has to say is imperative
Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah failed to address the issue of the meeting between Saiful and Datuk Seri Najib, as well as two other police officers prior to the alleged sodomy. Najib admitted to meeting Saiful for about an hour at his residence
It’s legally not wrong to meet up with high ranking officials. However, it’s a bit fishy considering that Saiful was Anwar’s former aide, and Najib was on the side of the political divide.
What’s even more odd is that the meeting concerned scholarships yet was held at Najib’s private residence. The fact that Shafee did not thoroughly address this meant that the door on the likelihood of Anwar’s political conspiracy theory remained open
Moreover, Shafee in his rebuttal, questioned how investigating officer Jude Pereira would have had access to fresh semen samples if indeed the latter had tampered with the evidence. This is a well thought out point, but is still subject to Anwar’s political conspiracy theory which was not refuted
If indeed there was a conspiracy to end Anwar’s political career, it wouldn’t be surprising that Anwar’s semen was found on an underwear not worn by Saiful on the day of the alleged sodomy. Powerful people can make things appear or even make them go away
Supt. Jude Pereira placed the DNA evidence in a steel cabinet instead of in proper refrigeration facilities (fact). On top of the DNA evidence being retrieved after 36 hours of the alleged sexual assault taking place (fact), it was also left open to degradation
Just because Jude Pereira mitigated the mistake by turning on the office air conditioner to keep the samples cool, this doesn’t negate the fact that negligence has occured. Pereira’s blatant failure to perform his duty could very well have affected the credibility and admissibility of the DNA evidence
Shafee’s reply to the lack of evidence regarding the use of the K-Y Jelly is laughable. The lead prosecutor held that there was no carpet stain because the jelly could’ve been spilled on a towel instead
Why is this possibility in contradiction with Saiful’s testimony that some of the jelly spilled onto the carpet? Where is this mysterious towel Shafee speaks of? How come it wasn’t admitted as evidence to support the claim that the controversial K-Y Jelly was used during the alleged sodomy?
Moving on, Shafee brought up the possibility that Anwar and Saiful had a “relationship” as the latter was given allowances and perks during his tenure as Anwar’s aide.
Shafee’s primary justification was that Saiful was a school dropout yet was able to afford expensive suits, was given generous allowances, and was sent on overseas trips
Citing Saiful’s testimony, Shafee said the former aide to the opposition leader earned a basic salary of RM1,000 but was given US$1,000 as allowance for a trip to Singapore and HK$1,000 dollars when he was sent there
Objectively speaking, the amounts mentioned aren’t exorbitant, though it is worth taking note of. Isn’t it completely normal for employees to be given allowances when they are sent on overseas trips? Some company trips are even completely sponsored!
Does this imply that the supervisor/manager has a relationship with the particular employee? Not in most circumstances! Anwar just needs to satisfactorily justify why the allowances were given and it will no longer be an issue
Next, Shafee attempted to reconcile the inconsistency in Saiful’s testimony regarding the duration of the alleged sexual assault. During the trial, Saiful said that the alleged sodomy lasted for five minutes. However, initially, Saiful mentioned that it was for thirty minutes
Today, Shafee told the court that the 30 minutes included the time to take a shower. Am I the only one who thinks this is ludicrous? Why would anyone include the time taken to take a bathe when asked about how long he/she was sodomised?
A mind-bloggling question I struggled with since the beginning is why Anwar never testified from the witness stand where he can be cross examined? If he was truly innocent, it wouldn’t be an issue to testify under oath right?
After all, this trial is a matter of life and death (metaphorically speaking) for Anwar. Being sent to jail would signal the end of his political career and possibly the demise of Pakatan Rakyat
So many unanswered questions remain. It is no surprise that the Sodomy II trial is a highly controversial one! I look forward to round two of the prosecution’s submissions.
*Read this amazing article at The Malaysian Insider