No appeal against Anwar’s not guilty verdict?

FMT Staff | January 20, 2012

A notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days of the date of judgment. So far, there is no indication that the prosecution is planning to do so.

KUALA LUMPUR: The final day for the prosecution to file an appeal against the High Court’s decision to acquit Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim of a sodomy charge is on Jan 25.

As it stands, there is no indication that an appeal will be filed.

Trial judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah is still on leave and will only be back after the Chinese New Year break.

Sources close to the prosecution told FMT that Solicitor-General II Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden will be officially retiring on Feb 2 and he is also on leave.

The sources also revealed that Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail did not mention the matter during the Chamber’s weekly meeting on Tuesday.

It is learnt that Yusof, in his report to Gani, recommended that the prosecution file a notice of appeal in order to obtain the grounds of judgment.

“It’s a standard practice at the end of any criminal trial or in the absence of a written judgment, either the prosecution or defence which is intending to appeal must file the notice of appeal.

“The trial judge is then required to provide a written judgment to facilitate the pursuance of the matter. If the prosecution (in Anwar’s case) fails to file the notice within the stipulated 14-day period, then the matter ends and the trial judge can produce his written judgment beyond that period,” explained a senior lawyer, who declined to be named.

Mandatory requirement

It is a mandatory requirement under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) that either party (prosecution or defence) must file the notice of appeal within 14 days from the day of judgment.

Anwar was acquitted and discharged of the charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on Jan 9.

Contacted later, Yusof replied to FMT via SMS that he is no longer handling the matter, which is now under the purview of the Attorney-General Chamber’s appeal division.

Anwar’s co-counsel SN Nair said there has been no indication when the written judgment will be available or when the notice of appeal will be filed.

“On Monday, we checked with the court officials and they informed us that defence lawyers will be duly notified when the written judgment is made available,” he told FMT.

Saiful’s father Azlan Mohd Lazim has been urging the A-G to appeal.

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