Jul 16, 08 3:18pm
“I was in the car with him when he was arrested. We were surrounded. Their (the police team) exact words were ‘you are under arrest’.”
Detained PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer N Sankara Nair recounted this afternoon’s drama when met by reporters outside the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters at about 2.45pm.
He said the police officers did not serve any warrant when arresting Anwar near his house in Segambut Dalam.
However, the opposition stalwart was not handcuffed when taken in a white Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD vehicle with tinted windows.
According to the lawyer, Anwar’s arrest had nothing to do with his non-appearance at the police headquarters on Monday.
“In fact, several minutes before the arrest, the investigation officer DSP Jude Pereira called us to ask if were coming. We replied that we would be there at 2pm sharp,” he said.
“If Anwar had not showed up at 2pm, I would understand the need to arrest. The police have breached the trust and confidence we once had.
“Now, my client has expressed fear that he will be subjected to intimidation by the police,” he added.
On June 28, Anwar’s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan filed a police report claiming that the politician had sodomised him.
Anwar claimed it is a political conspiracy, but government leaders have denied this.
Lawyer Sivarasa with Anwar
Sankara said the police must explain the purpose of arresting Anwar in such a manner.
He also stressed that under the law, Anwar does not need to provide the police with a DNA sample.
The police started recording the opposition stalwart’s statement at about 2.50pm on the sodomy allegation against him.
It is believed that PKR vice-president R Sivarasa - who is also a lawyer - is present with Anwar.
Deputy national police chief Ismail Omar confirmed Anwar had been arrested, saying he was a suspect in the sodomy case and would need to undergo a medical examination.
“He is not being charged with anything yet, don’t jump to conclusions,” Ismail told AFP.
“We have to record his statement to complete our investigations,” he said. “Once the facts are in we can make a decision.”
Anwar was supposed to have gone to the police headquarters on Monday to have his statement recorded.
However, he refused to go claiming that the police acted unprofessionally by ‘intimidating and harassing’ his staff and family while attempting to serve an order under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Sunday.
Yesterday, the police gave Anwar an ultimatum to be present at the police headquarters at 2pm or face the possibility of arrest.
Athi Veeranggan | Jul 6, 08 12:29pm
Anwar Ibrahim has challenged the government to either prove that he was an American ‘snitch’ or publicly apologise for the slanderous accusation.
The Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader gave this ultimatum at a rally in Penang’s Seberang Jaya agricultural expo centre – located in Anwar’s former parliamentary constituency of Permatang Pauh – late last night.
Describing it as another lie concocted by an irresponsible government, he hit back saying that “one cannot simply accuse me of being a US snitch without proof.”
Anwar called on Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, the man who first made the accusation, to produce ‘proof’ in an open court.
“I am prepared to be dragged to court to answer the charges. If it cannot be proven, then the government and the minister should make a public apology for the disparaging statement,” he told some 30,000 people at the rally.
Syed Hamid has accused Anwar being a US snitch when responding to a statement from Washington urging caution in the wake of fresh sodomy allegations against the opposition stalwart.
“Anwar is a ‘tukang lapor’ (snitch) to America. Every time when something happens, he reports to the US,” Syed Hamid said.
The minister also questioned Anwar’s credibility for seeking advice from foreign governments on Malaysia’s internal matters.
US State Department spokesperson Tom Casey had earlier last week said that US would oppose any politically-motivated investigation or prosecution of Anwar.
Noting that Anwar had previously faced similar charges 10 years ago and that his conviction was ultimately overturned, Casey said: “We would hope that there’s not a pattern here.”
In refuting Syed Hamid’s claim, Anwar insisted that he did not contact Washington over the sodomy allegations by his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, or the alleged threat to his life.
“When did I contacted Washington and told them about the happenings here?” he asked, challenging Syed Hamid to furnish immediate proof to substantiate his claims.
Anwar also hit out at the hypocrisy of government leaders for not criticising former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for ‘giving out millions’ to US lobbyists during his premiership.
The payments of some RM4.4 million were made to enable Mahathir to meet US President George W Bush.
“Take me to court. I have the facts to prove Mahathir’s payouts to US lobbyists,” he issued another challenge.
Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, parliamentary opposition leader and PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR Penang chief and and Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamed Hashim kept their speeches short at the three-hour rally, sensing that the crowd had come to listen to the man of the hour, Anwar.
‘I’ll no longer forgive and forget’
In his 60-minute speech, Anwar reminded Putrajaya administration not to forget that Malaysia was being observed internationally and that any political crisis here would be viewed with keen interest and concern by many countries.
The PKR de facto leader said he was touched by the moral support from his family, Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters, and most of all, Malaysians from all walks of life in his hours of need.
He said everyone feared of a replay of the 1998 episode, when “I was caught, stripped naked, assaulted and left unattended in the cell.”
He also chided Putera Umno chairperson Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim for challenging him to swear on the Quran at the National Mosque to prove his innocence on Saiful’s sodomy allegations.
He likened Abdul Azeez as a ‘choir boy’ “trying to secure some contracts from his bosses”, and suggested the Putera Umno chairperson to stay away from a game played by ‘big boys’.
Anwar said he would fight to prove his innocence against the sodomy allegations, which he claims were ‘cooked up’ by certain leaders of the government.
“It’s time to put aside my ‘forget and forgive’ attitude, and fight my political opponents to the end,” vowed Anwar as he wrapped up his speech to thunderous applause of the crowd.
“It’s payback time.”
Chan Kok Leong | Jul 4, 08 3:27pm
Dr Mahathir Mohamad has weighed in on the debate of whether his former protege has ever engaged in homosexual practices in a blog entry today.
In a posting on chedet.com this afternoon, the former premier said that all 10 judges who presided over the sodomy trials had found evidence of homosexual acts involving Anwar Ibrahim and his adopted brother Sukma Darmawan Sasmita Atmadja.
“Many believe that after the Federal Court had rejected the charges brought against Anwar, it means that he is innocent and hence freed,” said Mahathir.
“But what I wish to point out is that only two out of the three judges had rejected the charges. Moreover, the judgment should be read carefully.”
In the posting entitled “Anwar”, the former prime minister reproduced a paragraph of the judgment.
“Even though reading the appeal record, we find evidence to confirm that the appellants (Anwar dan Sukma) were involved in homosexual activities and we are more inclined to believe that the alleged incident at Tivoli Villa did happen sometime, this court, as a court of law, may only convict the appellants if the prosecution has successfully proved that the alleged offences as stated in the charge, beyond reasonable doubt.”
During Mahathir’s administration, Anwar, who had fallen out with his boss, was charged with corruption and unnatural sex in 1998.
This culminated in a conviction of six and nine years for corruption and sodomy respectively.
However, in 2004 a panel of three Federal Court judges overturned his sodomy conviction by 2 to 1, citing contradictions in the prosecution’s case.
Current Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad and Tengku Baharudin Shah Tengku Mahmud found for Anwar while Rahmah Hussain dissented.
‘Let the courts decide’
Mahathir said that it was clear from the above extract that the judges were of the opinion that Anwar had engaged in homosexual acts.
But they had to overturn the conviction as a result of technicalities, he added.
“The technicalities may not be known to most people but what is clear is that the judges believed that he had engaged in those acts.
“So if we weigh in all the judges have who presided over his sodomy case, we find that only two (on technicalities) out of the 10 judges were of the opinion that he did not sodomise Azizan Abu Bakar,” Mahathir wrote.
Azizan was the former driver of Anwar’s wife and current PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Hence, Mahathir said, the conclusion of certain quarters that Anwar is innocent is not altogether true.
“Nevertheless, we now have a new case and we must leave it to the courts to decide what took place,” he added.
“From the outset, Wan Azizah has cast her doubts on the judicial integrity in Malaysia to try this case. But where was her outcry when they (Malaysian judges) overturned his conviction?
“What will she then say if the judges find that Anwar had sodomised Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan but declares him not guilty because of technicalities?” asked Mahathir.
Andrew Ong | Jul 2, 08 7:01pm
Embattled PKR de facto
leader Anwar Ibrahim said he had never denied going to the luxury condominium where his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan claimed to have been sodomised.
“I (have) never said that I have never been there,” he said at his Petaling Jaya office after sending off Kelantan menteri besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat who paid him a visit this afternoon.
Anwar added that he would elaborate more on the issue later.
Saiful, 23, is believed to have stated in a police report on Saturday that he was sodomised on June 26 at Unit 1151 in Kondominium Desa Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
In a report today, New Straits Times said it was believed that Anwar had access to the posh unit as it belonged to one of his friends.
Anwar also brushed off another report in the NST which claimed doctors at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur had found evidence that Saiful had engaged in anal sex.
“Their problem lah. He (Saiful) has to explain that,” said Anwar in his usual calm demeanor.
According to Bernama, HKL director Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain today denied ever releasing information of their medical records on Saiful.
To weather out the storm
However, Anwar refused to entertain a question on whether Saiful had ever accompanied him overseas.
“There are certain things which I would have to consult my lawyer first because investigations are in progress. All I can say is that there is nothing to worry about,” he said.
Over the past few days, a number of press reports have claimed that Saiful has also alleged that he was sodomised by Anwar when both were overseas including in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
On Nik Aziz’s visit, Anwar said that the Kelantan mentri besar had expressed concern and regret over the fresh sodomy allegations – the second time in 10 years.
“He asked me to be patient and to weather out the storm. He is confident that we will see this through,” he added.
Anwar stressed that even with the sodomy allegations, the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition comprising DAP, PAS and PKR was still strong.
“We will tread cautiously, in part due to the on-going BN media campaign (against us). I have to work with my lawyers to deal with this,” said the former deputy premier.
Andrew Ong | Jul 1, 08 5:17pm
A former staunch supporter of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today claimed that he was not surprised by the fresh
sodomy allegations against the charismatic politician.
Declining to shed more light on this cryptic remark, Ezam Mohd Noor (centre) said: “I’m not surprised. I have no reasons to be surprised … I will explain at the right time.”
The former PKR Youth chief – who spent years struggling for Anwar’s release from corruption and sodomy charges following his unceremonious sacking in 1998 – was speaking to reporters after filing a report with the Selangor Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in Shah Alam on a separate matter.
Ezam, who recently rejoined Umno after quitting the party a decade ago, also dismissed the possibility of the latest charges being politically motivated.
In the past, Ezam vehemently denied the sodomy charges against Anwar but this time around, he skirted the question on whether he still held the same position in light of the fresh allegations.
“Any new case has to be looked into separately. I have no idea and no information (about the latest allegation). This is between the accuser, the accused and god. I’ll leave it at that,” he said.
He also felt that a conspiracy theory was not applicable in this case.
“Even if there is any political attempt to suppress Anwar, this won’t happen. They won’t resort to sodomy allegations. It not only gives problems to Anwar but also the government.
“Why should we use sodomy allegations? This is not a political problem. This is a personal problem. It is about morality. To me, Anwar should not relate this issue to his plans to contest or his political career,” he said.
However, Ezam refused to comment when asked how well he knew of Anwar’s ‘morality’.
Ezam claimed that he had spoken to Umno leaders, including Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, and was certain that there is no political conspiracy.
On Saturday, Anwar’s former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, alleged in a police report that he was forcibly sodomised by his employer in a condominium in Bukit Damansara.
Anwar has maintained his innocence and claimed that Saiful’s accusations were a “complete fabrication.”