: Former opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was allowed to have physical contact with his family during the seven times they visited him last year at Sungai Buloh Prison.
Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said this in his submission at the High Court here today.
He said statistics from Sungai Buloh Prison between January and December 2016, showed that Anwar's seven applications to meet and be allowed to touch family members, were approved.
"This did not include their face to face meetings at the court or hospital," he said at the hearing of Anwar and his family's judicial review application against the prison for disallowing physical contact between them during visits.
Shamsul was representing the Sungai Buloh Prison director, Prisons Commissioner-General and Home Minister who are the respondents in the case.
Counsel N. Surendran who represented the applicants submitted that Anwar did not expect any preferential treatment by the prison, only his right under the constitution to have physical contact with his family when they visit him.
He contended that Anwar and his family were given less than five minutes to touch one another and not during all the visits.
Justice Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad who presided over the case set March 7 for ruling on the application.
Besides Anwar, 69, the others in the application are his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 64, and their four daughters, Nurul Izzah, 36, Nurul Nuha, 33, Nurul Ilham, 29, and Nurul Iman, 26.
Also in it are Nurul Izzah's sons, Raja Nur Safiyah Raja Ahmad Shahrir Iskandar, 10, and Raja Ahmad Harith aged eight years; and Nurul Nuha's sons, Sulaimaan Mohamad Khairul and Yahya, aged five and four years, respectively.
They are seeking an order to invalidate the Sungai Buloh Prison director's decision on March 14, 2016 to disallow any physical contact between Anwar and his family.
They claim that they were separated by a glass screen and could only speak with each other through the telephone during the visits which were only allowed once in three weeks.
Anwar is currently serving five years in prison for sodomising his former assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
In a letter through his solicitor dated March 2, 2016, Anwar applied to the three respondents to allow physical contact between him and his family. It was rejected by the Sungai Buloh Prison director in a letter dated March 14, 2016. - BERNAMA