Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lawyers clash over Anwar’s ‘qazaf’ motion against Saiful

The Syariah High Court today saw lawyers arguing over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s qazaf or criminal defamation against his sodomy accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Government Syarie lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar argued that the the Syariah High Court does not have the authority to order Syariah chief prosecutor to charge Anwar’s former aide.

Zainul said that the court cannot interfere or meddle the authority of the Syariah chief prosecutor under section 58 (2) in Islamic law’s administrative act.

Zainul also added that there were several procedural errors in the application and that it should be made by way of summons instead of notice of application therefore Anwar’s application should be rejected.

Anwar had filed an application for the court to order Federal Territory (FT) Syariah chief prosecutor Shamsuddin Hussain to charge his former aide for making false accusations about committing intercourse with him.

However Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, Shamsuddin and FT Religious Department director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali filed the preliminary objections to strike out Anwar’s “qazaf” application against Mohd Saiful.

Anwar’s Syarie lawyer Kamar Aniah Kamaruzaman questioned if the Syariah Chief prosecution’s power was absolute and could not be questioned.

She also stressed that precedence has shown that the court does have power to intervene under the statutes in the Federal Territory’s Islamic law.

Kamar said that if the Syariah court decides that it does not have jurisdiction to order the Syariah Chief prosecutor to charge then Anwar can bring his case to civil court.

“But do we want issues affecting Muslim people to be heard in a secular court and by a judge who is ‘kafir’?” She asked.

Kamar said that government has been emphasizing the importance of Islamic law in the country by canning the three women but questioned the same was not practiced with Saiful.

“The minister, Syariah chief prosecutor and Religious Department director seem to have more faith in the civil court than Syariah court by wanting to wait for Anwar’s sodomy case before proceeding with this case.

“The government wants to strengthened the Islamic law in the country by canning the three women but why is there yet any actions taken against Saiful who had falsely declared, that he was sodomized, in the mosque? Were the women canned because their do not have anybody to protect them?” asked Kamar.

Kamar also stressed that the court should not allow “minor technicalities” to “overpower the fundamental issue of the case” and that she was willing to amend the application.

“The court procedures are aimed to achieve justice but not hinder it,” she said.

The court has been adjourned to April 14 for the judge to decide on the preliminary objections.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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