Sodomy II: Defence counsel questions DNA sample as appeal enters second day

Sodomy II: Defence counsel questions DNA sample as appeal enters second day
Due to lengthy arguments, Anwar's final hearing proceeding may be extended until Friday. - Astro AWANI/Shahir Omar
KUALA LUMPUR: The final appeal hearing of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against his sodomy conviction enters the second day at the Federal Court here, today.

Anwar's defence counsel, Datuk Gopal Sri Ram leads a 13-member team of lawyers including Eric Paulsen, Ramkarpal Singh, Sangeet Kaur Deo, N. Surendran, Latheefa Koya, Lim Choon Khim, Michelle Yesudas, Shahid Adli Kamaruddin, Zaleha Al-Hayat, Jeremy Vinesh Anthony and Mohamed Aliff Bolkin.

At 9.50am, Sangeet submitted that Anwar's DNA was obtained from items through the cell where he was previously detained. Among the items include a toothbrush, a face towel and a water bottle.

Sangeet also questioned the relevance based on the police record of Anwar's movement when he was being locked up. Sangeet submitted that the police only 'heard' Anwar brushing his teeth and did not see him 'in action'.

Sangeet in her statement indicated DNA sample retrieved from Anwar's items and items from the main witness, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, are matched and declared as 'male-Y'. She said prosecutors did not relate that male-Y DNA to Anwar.

At 11.10am, Sangeet continued presenting her statements concerning an arrest warrant issued for Anwar.

She said using the old, original warrant during Anwar’s arrest was unlawful which led to the arrest and the retrieval of evidence to be used as court exhibits.

Sangeet also presented to court a series of documents which the prosecution team did not authorise to ensure fairness during the proceedings from defence and prosecution counsels.

At 12.20pm, Ramkarpal continued with his arguments, stressing scientific aspect of the DNA sample, labeled as 'male-Y'.

Ramkarpal submitted that the prosecutors failed to prove that the 'male-Y' DNA belonged to Anwar.

The sample, said Ramkarpal, was not fully tested.

Apart from identifying the DNA sample to authenticate its DNA codes in verification process, the court must weigh into several factors including the surrounding before arriving at a decision. 

Ramkarpal also presented the status of how DNA is credible to be used as an exhibit during a hearing.

The proceedings then took a break.

At 2.40pm, the hearing resumes with Ramkarpal continuing to present his arguments on the credibility of evidence used by the prosecution team from both scientific and technical aspects.

These include the techniques of retrieving and managing the DNA samples, its effectiveness, quality and quantity, degradeable factor and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

Among Anwar's supporters and Pakatan Rakyat leaders present at the proceedings today include A. Samad Said, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang.

Shahir Omar
Anwar arriving at the Federal Court in Putrajaya with his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail this morning. - Astro AWANI/Shahir Omar

Meanwhile, outside the Federal Court, the atmosphere was somewhat chaotic, especially when after Anwar arrived at the court premises in the morning.

Chaos erupted after Anwar disembarked from his car which was parked on the main road and walked 200-metres before he entered the court premises using the back door.

Anwar supporters were seen forcing their way through the barricades by coaxing the police to let them through.

READ: Photographer thrown egg while covering Anwar's case

The situation, however, turned sombre after Anwar entered the courtroom.

Supporters were seen trying to push the barricades outside the Palace of Justice. - BERNAMApic

At the same time, Mohd Saiful's supporters began to converge outside the Palace of Justice carrying banners with the words "Hormati Sultan dan Undang-undang" (Respect the Rulers and the Law) and 'Justice for Saiful'.

Suhaimi Adnan, president of the Pertubuhan Suara Inspirasi Malaysia, said Mohd Saiful's supporters were made up of members of several NGOs and the general public.

Student activist Adam Adli was seen outside the court in a gesture of solidarity for Anwar.

Anwar, 67, was charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code after the Court of Appeal on March 7 thisyear found him guilty of having sodomised his now 27-year-old former aide, Mohd Saiful.

The Opposition Leader's final appeal hearing against his second sodomy conviction, initially slated to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, now might be extended up to Friday.

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