Feb 23 decision on Anwar’s bid to reinstate Sodomy 2 lawsuit

PUTRAJAYA : The Court of Appeal here set Feb 23, 2022 for its decision on whether to allow Anwar Ibrahim’s bid to reinstate his lawsuit against the government to question his 2015 Sodomy 2 conviction.

Judge Lee Swee Seng, who chaired the appeals court panel, heard arguments from Anwar’s lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, and co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh, who is representing lawyer and intervenor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Other judges in the panel were Abu Bakar Jais and Supang Lian.

The government had in 2017 succeeded in striking out Anwar’s Sodomy 2 lawsuit before the High Court on grounds that the case did not have any cause of action and was an abuse of the court process.

In his lawsuit, Anwar also alleged that the then Sodomy 2 ad-hoc prosecutor and lawyer Shafee received RM9.5 million from former prime minister Najib Razak to lead the prosecution team in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court beginning in 2013.

Anwar subsequently filed an appeal against the lawsuit after it was struck off, and in September 2018, former attorney-general Tommy Thomas’ special officer Siti Rahayu Mohd Mumazaini filed an affidavit to support Anwar’s application to reinstate his suit.

She stated that Shafee received RM9.5 million between 2013 and 2014 from Najib for handling the Sodomy 2 appeal.

Shafee is currently standing trial on four counts of money laundering charges over the RM9.5 million he received from Najib.

Earlier during submissions, Sri Ram told the court that Anwar’s lawsuit is not a plain and obvious case to be struck off.

“The payment was made by a person (Najib) who has interest in his (Anwar) conviction,” he said.

Sri Ram added that Anwar’s defence team had previously sought to recuse Shafee from leading the Sodomy 2 appeal on Aug 23, 2013.

He pointed out, after the recusal application was filed before the court, Shafee had received the first tranche, or RM4.3 million, of the RM9.5 million.

The Court of Appeal heard arguments from Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, and co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh, who is representing lawyer and intervenor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. (AP pic)

“The payment was not disclosed to the court. His (Shafee) failure to disclose (the information) rendered the hearing as unfair,” Sri Ram said.

Supang then asked Sri Ram, “are you asking us to send the case back to the High Court?”

To which Sri Ram answered in the affirmative, adding that they will make bids to cross-examine Shafee on the RM9.5 million.

“Give us an opportunity to test the veracity of the RM9.5 million,” he said.

Meanwhile, Suzana told the court that the decision to strike out the Sodomy 2 lawsuit was based on facts and evidence.

“There was no evidence in this lawsuit to show the sanctity of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court were compromised,” she said, in responding to Lee’s queries on whether the RM9.5 million was deemed as “corrupt” payment.

Harvinderjit told the court that Shafee only received RM1,000 from the government to handle the Sodomy 2 appeal.

FMT

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