Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s last bid for acquittal in his second sodomy case goes on today despite objection against the Federal Court panel by the de facto PKR leader’s team of lawyers earlier.
The five-man panel chaired by Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin decided unanimously to not recuse themselves, and promised a “fair hearing” for this review today.
“We find there is no merit for us if at all to recuse ourselves from hearing this review application,” Zulkefli told the court.
The other judges on the panel are Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim.
All five judges had previously sat on the Federal Court panel that had this May rejected Anwar’s application to have former senior policeman Datuk Ramli Yusuff’s testimony brought in as new evidence to support his review application today.
Anwar’s lead counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram had earlier highlighted two portion of the same panel’s May 23 judgment, arguing that the first portion showed that the judges had went into the merits of Anwar’s Sodomy II case.
“We do not see these two paragraphs as referred by Gopal to imply that we might be biased or not fair or anything of that sort towards the applicant in this case. If at all we find the two paragraphs was said in context of application to adduce additional evidence few months ago.
“We would like to say for this present application today that we shall give the applicant a fair hearing based on the facts and evidence before us,” Zulkefli said.
Today is scheduled for the hearing of Anwar’s application for the Federal Court to review its decision last year to convict and sentence him to five years in jail for sodomy.
On February 10, 2015, the Federal Court upheld an earlier ruling for the conviction and five-year jail term of Anwar over the sodomy of his former political
aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.