Citing perjury, Anwar challenges Sodomy 2 conviction… again

Anwar is currently serving a five-year sentence at Sungai Buloh Prison. — Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Jailed Opposition politician Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim filed another legal challenge against his conviction for sodomy, claiming the government had used “perjured” evidence in their case.

The de facto PKR leader was represented by lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya who filed a writ of summons at the High Court here today, naming the government as the defendant.

“In the writ of summons, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has asked for an order to be issued, that his conviction for sodomy is null and void, and an order that he be freed from prison immediately,” Surendran told reporters after the filing.

“Anwar Ibrahim says in this action, that at his trial, or rather his conviction, was obtained through perjured testimony and evidence,” the lawyer added.

In his writ too, Anwar said that the defendant knew that his accuser, Saiful Bukhari Azlan was an “untruthful witness” but was still admitted as a witness despite questions over his credibility.

Anwar claimed that the government had then perpetuated Saiful's alleged perjury to its own advantage.

“The evidence of Saiful was perjured to the knowledge of the defendant in that the act of sodomy alleged by Saiful never took place or alternatively could not, on his account of the events have taken place,” the writ read, adding that Anwar as the plaintiff would provide further details.

In the press conference today, Surendran said he would also seek for the case to be fast-tracked for a hearing so Anwar, who is serving a five-year jail sentence, can be released earlier.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister-turned-Opposition leader was charged with sodomising his then-aide Mohd Saiful in 2008. 

He was initially acquitted after a long trial in 2012, but the government appealed and he was later convicted and sentenced in February 2015.

Last month, Surendran and Latheefa formally sent the Malaysian government a request to release Anwar from prison early, arguing that he had served more than half his prison term and that he is also the lynchpin for the Pakatan Harapan Opposition pact.

The application was made under the provisions of Section 43 of the Prisons Act 1995, which gives the Commissioner General power to “release upon licence any person serving a sentence of imprisonment”.