Datuk Seri Ibrahim Anwar has filed a legal challenge against his second conviction for sodomy, claiming the government had used “perjured” evidence in their case, demanding that he be freed from prison. — Picture by KE OoiKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — In his address to court today, jailed de facto Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pleaded for the High Court to allow his appeal to overturn his second sodomy conviction, pointing out that this is his only avenue to prove his innocence.
“We have gone through this at length with my bigger team and we find that there is a compelling case for you to give a hearing, not necessarily decide in my favour.
“What is the other empirical avenue for justice? This is the only avenue left. You should not reject this primarily because, not necessarily on the question of the Court of Appeal or Federal Court, but to ascertain there is a fraudulent case in obtaining those facts from the various witnesses, and also evidence,” Anwar told the court, towards the end of the hearing today.
Anwar has filed a legal challenge against his second conviction for sodomy, claiming the government had used “perjured” evidence in their case, demanding that he be freed from prison.
The government then filed a counter-challenge to strike out the civil suit, and the hearing to decide on the matter commenced today.
“What we are appealing to you, is to at least allow us to present the case.
“Denying us this will of course deny us that avenue, in our quest for justice. Thank you Yang Arif,” Anwar said.
High Court judge Datuk Nik Asmat Nik Mohamed had allowed Anwar to address the court, after his counsels and government prosecutors tabled their argument.
Anwar, a former deputy prime minister-turned-Opposition leader was charged with sodomising his then-aide Mohd Saiful in 2008.
He was initially acquitted after a long trial in 2012, but the government appealed and he was later convicted and sentenced in February 2015.
Last year, Anwar’s lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya formally sent the Malaysian government a request to release Anwar from prison early, arguing that he had served more than half his prison term and that he is also the lynchpin for the Pakatan Harapan Opposition pact.
The application was made under the provisions of Section 43 of the Prisons Act 1995, which gives the Commissioner General power to “release upon licence any person serving a sentence of imprisonment”.