Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial faced further delays today, and is adjourned until February 18 for a decision on whether the judge should be disqualified from hearing the case.

High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah adjourned the trial today after hearing submissions from the defence and prosecution on whether he should recluse himself.

“I need time to look at the arguments and cases put forth by the defence and the prosecution,” said Mohd Zabidin.

Lead counsel for Anwar’s defense team Karpal Singh had sought to disqualify the judge on Monday, citing dissatisfaction with the way the court has dealt with Utusan Malaysia’s coverage of the case against Anwar.

The Opposition Leader is accused with sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara Condominium on June 26, 2008. Anwar has denied the charge, the second he has faced in 12 years.

The original application to disqualify the judge was based on dissatisfaction over how the judge had dealt with the Utusan Malaysia coverage of Anwar’s trial which “brings to surface an element of danger of bias on the part of the learned trial judge.”

Karpal had applied to court to cite Utusan for contempt of court as he argued that what was published on Feb 4 was tantamount to contempt of court.

However, Zabidin had dismissed Karpal’s application on the grounds that “the said reports were not carried with the intention of being mischievious and to disrupt trial proceedings when clearly there was no evidence on affidavit or otherwise to show such intention or mischief by Utusan Malaysia.”

Similarly the judge had with regards to the Feb 5 coverage by Utusan declined to caution the newspaper despite the defence’s contention that the news report was misleading.

Zabidin’s basis of reasoning was that the publication of the picture as evidence regarding the bed had been given in open court the previous day, which Karpal argues did not actually occur.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

No comments: