Malaysia's High Court accepts DNA evidence against Anwar

Malaysia's High Court accepts DNA evidence against Anwar

The court's decision was a reversal of its previous decision. Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah ruled that the items - a white toothbrush, a towel and a mineral water bottle - could be tendered as evidence in Anwar's ongoing sodomy trial.

He, however, dismissed another application made by the prosecution for the court to compel Anwar to submit his DNA for profiling, as "there is no legal provision to do so".
The judge said the three items could be used as the arrest of Anwar at that time was lawful.

A chemist testified that DNA on the three items matched that of semen found on 25-year-old Mohd Saiful, who has accused Anwar of sodomising him on June 26, 2008. Saiful was a former aide of Anwar.

The evidence is a vital part of the prosecution's effort to prove that 63-year-old Anwar, who has six children, had sex with his former aide.

On March 8, the High Court had ruled that the three items taken from the lockup where Anwar was kept overnight, could not be tendered as evidence as they had been obtained via unfair means.

Speaking to reporters later, Anwar said he was surprised, but the decision "did not come totally unexpected". "We'll deal with it, we remain confident. I've said that I'm innocent," he said.

Anwar can face up to 20 years in jail if convicted of sodomy, a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

The court's ruling comes while Anwar is facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct after a video showing a man resembling the opposition leader having sex with a woman has surfaced. Anwar has denied being the man in the video and has lodged a police report.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's opposition parties - the Islamic party (PAS) and the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) - have decided to stand by Anwar over the sex video, saying the recording was politically motivated and a "dirty tactic".

PAS Party president Abdul Hadi Awang said the opposition alliance had decided to reject such dirty tactics which seek to defame and humiliate others. "The video also surfaced at the same time the Sarawak state assembly was dissolved to make way for elections," he said.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said his party would support Anwar."Malaysians should express outrage and condemnation that politics have reached new depths in character assassination," he said, adding the whole scandal was aimed at the Sarawak elections.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz slammed the Opposition for accusing the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional of coming up with the video.
"Anything that involves Barisan MPs is a fact, but anything that concerns them is a conspiracy," he said.Meanwhile, Anwar's party PKR said it had identified two men as being behind the sex video.

An PKR MP Johari Abdul claimed that the two were a former top Barisan Nasional state leader and a businessman. Anwar has denied he is the man in the 22-minute video.
He claimed it was doctored and blamed it on the Barisan government.

The Opposition Leader lodged a police report against Datuk T, a mysterious man who had shown the video recording to journalists on Monday. Datuk T gave the politician and his wife one week to quit politics and threatened to make the video public through some NGOs if they failed to do so.

A day after the video emerged, political sources speculated that the hidden video cameras were obviously "an inside job", local dailies said.

According to Star newspaper, Datuk T, a Malay man in his 50s, said he was "asked to search for the watch in the hotel room", when he stumbled upon some electrical wiring as well as a video recorder containing the footage of the politician having sex with a woman.

However, it is not clear what prompted Datuk T to go public with the video. The popular theory is that he once belonged to the videoed politician's inner circle."He is obviously someone very trusted by the politician to carry out such a personal task (search for the watch)," one analyst said.

The bespectacled Datuk T signed off the press release as "The Insider", which gives further hint that he was, at some point, someone who knew of the politician's movements, habits and activities.

Political sources believe Datuk T could have fallen out with the politician, causing the former to turn against him. The media has been unable to trace the identity of Datuk T.