Corruption Conviction Review ‘Could Take a Year’
Straits Times, September 4, 2004
By Leslie Lau
KUALA LUMPUR—Datuk Seri Anwar
Ibrahim’s lawyers will be in court on Monday in a final attempt to clear his
conviction on corruption charges, but the process could take up to a year.
‘Our grounds are that the entire prosecution against my
client was a flawed process,’ his lawyer, Mr Sankara Nair, told The Straits
Malaysia’s former deputy premier wants the Federal
Court to overturn its own decision in a judicial review, something that is
He was freed on Thursday from a separate prosecution for
sodomising his wife’s driver, and is fighting now to clear his name
It would remove the last obstacle to the resumption of
his political career.
He is disqualified from contesting any election or
holding a post in any political party for five years. The period started from
April last year, when he completed his jail sentence for corruption.
Mr Sankara said yesterday that, in the interest of
justice, Datuk Seri Anwar was considering applying for a certificate of
urgency to expedite the judicial review.
He said the Federal Court would determine on Monday if it
will even allow a judicial review of the case.
‘If we are eventually successful, then he will be free
to take an active part in party politics,’ he said.
Mr Sankara acknowledged that it would be an uphill
battle, noting that the Federal Court would review its own decision only on
exceptional grounds, such as serious injustice or public interest.
The Federal Court can refuse outright to even entertain
the application based on the principle that there needs to be finality in
It would then leave Datuk Seri Anwar out in the
wilderness until April 2008.
The current government’s term expires in March 2009,
but elections can be called any time before that.
Mr Sankara acknowledged that parts of the Federal Court
judgment that ultimately freed Datuk Anwar was also damaging to his client.
Judge Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamed said there was evidence
that Datuk Seri Anwar and his adopted brother Sukma Dermawan Sasmitaat Madja
were ‘involved in homosexual activities’, but the prosecution had failed
to prove sodomy against Azizan Abu Bakar.
‘I thought it was a bit unfair, but it will not have
any bearing on our application for judicial review,’ said Mr Sankara.
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