Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Zul Noordin still Anwar’s counsel for qazaf case

Sacked PKR MP Zulkifli Noordin claims that he will continue to represent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim despite his sacking from the party on Saturday and the war of words he has had with party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Zulkifli said he is the lead counsel in Anwar’s qazaf case which will be mentioned in Syariah High Court in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

He said he will be in court in his capacity as the lawyer Anwar officially appointed.

“On record, I am Anwar’s lawyer … and I will be in court tomorrow. Whether I am asked to withdraw or otherwise I still need to be there,” said Zulkifli.

“If I am asked to withdraw I have to declare this officially to the court. So I will be there,” he said, adding that he does not consider his current problems to be of a personal nature.

It is understood that this will be the first time in a month that Zulkifli will meet Anwar and Wan Azizah face to face.

“This is not a personal matter, and I continue to be in contact with [Anwar], Wan Azizah and his family,” he said.

Zulkifli has informed Anwar that he will conduct himself as a professional in the qazaf suit which Anwar filed against his former personal assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Zulkifli was involved, in the early stages, as a member of Anwar’s legal team after the latter was sacked from his government post and Umno in September 1998.

The Syariah High Court has set the mention of the qazaf case for tomorrow.

Anwar’s other counsel is Kamar Aniah Kamaruzaman.

Syariah judge Mohd Shukor Sabuddin will also be hearing initial objections by the defence team headed by Zainal Rijal Abu Bakar.

The objections concern the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court to hear the case, application procedures and Zulkifli’s qualification to represent Anwar.

On Jan 7, Anwar, who is also MP for Permatang Pauh, filed an application with the Syariah High Court for prosecutors to continue with the qazaf charge against Saiful.

In the notice of demand, Anwar named Federal Territory lead prosecutor Shamsuddin Hussain, director of Federal Territory’s Islamic Department Datuk Che Mat Che Ali, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom as respondents.

Anwar sought the court to order Shamsuddin to use his powers to proceed with the qazaf charge and to prevent Che Mat and Jamil from stopping Shamsuddin from doing so.

As for the attacks on Wan Azizah, Zulkifli explained that he had informed the PKR president last night through an intermediary that he will release a statement on the demand for him to vacate his Kulim-Bandar Baharu seat.

Zulkifli defended his actions, saying his statement was in response to Wan Azizah’s which appeared to be a personal attack.

“Because Wan Azizah’s statement was personal in character, accusing me of lacking principles … so I could not keep quiet.

“All the same, even before releasing the statement, I had already conveyed a message to Wan Azizah, through someone, that I would be releasing a statement in response to her’s.

“If nothing else, Wan Azizah should have contacted me and spoken to me personally and not have attacked me personally in such a public manner.”

In his statement last night, Zulkifli advised Wan Azizah not to indulge in attacks and instead step down as party president for her failures as a leader.

“I would advise Wan Azizah to relinquish her position as president for failing to defend the objectives of PKR which purports to defend Islam, the special position of the community and Islamic institutions as enshrined in the Constitution,” said Zulkifli.

Zulkifli also challenged Wan Azizah to a one-on-one fight for the seat of Kulim-Bandar Baharu, if she had the courage.

He said she ought to know better than to challenge him.

“When Wan Azizah chose to criticise me, she forced me to respond to her but it is my hope that she will desist from continuing her attacks,” he added.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

No comments: