KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court on Monday ordered Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to defend himself against a charge of sodomising his former personal assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan three years ago.
High Court judge Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah determined that the prosecution had established a prima facie case and the 63-year-old PKR adviser must enter his defence in a continuation of his trial fixed from June 6 to June 30.
“The accused is charged with carnal intercourse against order of nature.
“The defence tried to paint Saiful as a witness who was not credible and that he was not a good Muslim. With great respect to defence, these arguments are irrelevant.
“Saiful appeared to be a truthful witness and his evidence reliable, with the minute details given in his account.
“Therefore, the next question is whether there is evidence to corroborate Saiful's statements.
“The three doctors who testified confirmed that there was penile penetration.
“As for contamination of DNA evidence, all samples taken were immediately sealed. I find the possibility of contamination of samples to be remote.
“Based on all the above reasons, the prosecution has made a prima facie case against the accused. The defence is called,” he said.
A total of 27 prosecution witnesses were called to take the stand during 59 days of hearing.
On Aug 7, 2008, Anwar pleaded not guilty to performing carnal intercourse against the order of nature on complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at a condominium unit in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
The alleged offence took place between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
He is charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code and if convicted, could be sentenced to up to 20 years' jail and whipped.
Anwar remained composed after he heard the ruling on Monday. He smiled as he greeted supporters.
The lawyers then entered chambers.
Supporters said they were not surprised by the ruling as it was widely expected.