- POSTED: 17 Sep 2013 22:01
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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is back in court to defend himself against a government attempt to overturn his acquittal in his second sodomy trial last January.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is back in court.
He is defending himself against a government attempt to overturn his acquittal in his second sodomy trial last January.
Mr Anwar has insisted the move is politically motivated to ruin his career.
The 66-year-old opposition leader arrived at the court of appeal in Putrajaya Tuesday to fend off the government's bid to overturn the high court's decision in January 2012.
Then, Mr Anwar was acquitted of sodomy, after the court ruled that DNA samples taken had been tampered with.
The case was brought against him in 2008 by his former aide, 25-year-old Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who has since gotten married and made peace with the verdict.
However, the government is not giving up and has employed prominent criminal lawyer Muhammad Shafiee Abdullah to lead the prosecution team.
Mr Shafiee must first, however, survive an application to disqualify him as Mr Anwar's lawyers argue that his name had been on the original prosecution witness list.
"I'm not a witness. They thought I am a witness. Can you imagine? The statement was taken from me to prove that I'm not a witness, at all," said Mr Shafiee on the matter.
Mr Karpal Singh, Mr Anwar’s lead counsel, said: "He was a witness. A statement was taken from him in the course of police investigations. The fact your statement was taken shows there must have been some reason why."
Mr Shafiee was allegedly present when Mr Saiful visited Prime Minister Najib at his home in 2008, a few days before he lodged a formal police report against Mr Anwar.
The case has drawn the attention of international observers.
Mr Mark Trowell, an observer for Lawasia and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), said: "The union of 162 parliaments around the world (the IPU) have interest in these types of proceedings. I will be reporting to them and they will then, in due course, issue a report."
The hearing will resume on Wednesday, with a new judge on the bench, after one of the three judges recused herself following the defence lawyer's accusation of bias.
Tengku Maimun had struck out Mr Anwar's defamation suit against former Prime Minister Mahathir in 2007.