Monday, October 3, 2011

Najib, Rosmah not relevant witnesses to Anwar's sodomy trial - counsel

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, were not relevant or material witnesses in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's ongoing sodomy trial, the High Court heard today.
Counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, representing Najib and Rosmah, said although the first applicant (Najib) in his affidavit in support, admitted that he had met complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on June 24, 2008, two days before the alleged offence, there was no connection and nexus to the charge faced by the respondent (Anwar).
"We agree with the contention of the respondent (Anwar) that he has the right to subpoena both Najib and Rosmah, but at the same time, the applicants also have the right to come to court in setting aside the subpoenas," he argued.
Citing several case laws in relation to material witness, Hisyam said Anwar had no legal right to call witnesses who did not have in their possession, any material evidence.
Referring to Najib's affidavit to support his application to set aside the subpoena, he said the charge faced by Anwar was on the alleged incident on June 26, 2008 and therefore, whatever transpired between Najib and Mohd Saiful during a meeting at his residence in Taman Duta, two days earlier (June 24), was not relevant to the case.

In the application filed on Sept 29, Najib and Rosmah sought the High Court to set aside the subpoena and stressed there was no conspiracy whatsoever, against Anwar, nor did they instruct anyone to fabricate incriminating evidence against the accused.
"It's our submission that it is just a 'fishing expedition' and abuse of the court process on the part of the first respondent and therefore, the court should allow the applicants' applications in setting aside the subpoenas," said Hisyam.
He submitted that it was very clear that the purpose of the two subpoenas was clarification and confirmation for Najib and Rosmah on what transpired during the meeting with Mohd Saiful.
"The law, as it stands, allows both the applicants to have the subpoenas set aside, if the party requesting the subpoenas to be issued, cannot pass the twin tests of relevancy and materiality," he added.
Karpal Singh, in his submission, told the court that the purpose for subpoena was for clarification on Mohd Saiful's visit and meeting with the then deputy prime minister.
He said Najib's former special officer, Datuk Khairul Anaz Jusoh, during the witness interview on May 25, this year, had told the defence counsel that Najib and Mohd Saiful's meeting lasted for an hour.
Karpal said the time was quite substantial and the defence wanted to know what actually transpired.
"Such evidence would be, it is emphasised, relevant and material. It is submitted that the application by Anwar is bona fide and does not constitute abuse of process of court nor oppression against the prime minister. The right of the party to the attendance of a witness is a crucial part of the judicial system," he said.
Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, representing the second respondent (prosecution) supported Hisyam's submissions.
He said Anwar had to show the court the relevant evidence in Najib and Rosmah's possession, but failed to do so.
He said the relevant or material evidence was essential to influence the court to arrive at a decision.
Najib, in his affidavit affirmed on Sept 23, this year, had confirmed he had met Mohd Saiful on June 24, 2008, about 8.30pm at his residence where Mohd Saiful had told him he was sodomised by first respondent (Anwar).
He also stated that he had told Mohd Saiful to leave the matter for police investigations.
Najib said that since he had no knowledge or information from the complainant on the alleged incident on June 26, 2008, he could not assist Anwar in his defence.
He said the subpoena obtained by Anwar was malafide and an abuse of the court process.
Rosmah, in her affidavit affirmed on Sept 21, said she never met or spoke to Mohd Saiful at anytime, and therefore, she could not give any information or evidence on any issue raised by the defence.
Anwar, 64, pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court on Aug 7, 2008, to committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature at the Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, the same year.
The trial judge, Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, set Thursday for decision on the application.
Chemistry Department director-general Lim Kong Boon will testify at the main trial which resumes tomorrow.

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