Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Exclusive: Anwar to be charged for sodomy as police wrap up probe

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — The police have completed their investigations into sodomy allegations against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and are going to charge the opposition icon soon for sodomising his accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider that investigators are "crossing the t's and dotting the i's" and will be relying on Anwar's DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) samples from 1998 when he faced similar charges which cost him the chance to be prime minister.

"Nobody wants a repeat of 1998 when the prosecution had to amend the charges. Anwar has alleged that he had an alibi for the 24 hours on the day the offence took place. So the authorities have to check everything out," said an official who is familiar with the investigations.

"We understand that there is an attempt to quash credibility of the case even before the matter goes to court. The police cannot say too much because then they will be accused of trial by media and ministers cannot say much because they will be accused to interference.

"This case is built on strong scientific evidence," the official added.

Anwar has claimed that he is a victim of a political conspiracy and has refused to give a blood sample for DNA tests, saying that it could be used to fabricate evidence against him.

Waving the leaked medical report today, Anwar called on the police to drop the case, saying it was proof there was a plot to implicate him in a repeat of the 1998 case.

"How else can we fathom why the police during the last four weeks of their 'thorough and professional investigations' have overlooked such a critical piece of evidence?

"I condemn in the strongest terms their negligence, dishonesty and recklessness in humiliating the nation by dragging us all through this vile and filthy charade," Anwar said.

Police arrested him on July 16 an hour before he was due to be questioned, causing a furore as it was similar to the chain of events a decade ago when he was charged with corruption and sodomy. Anwar was convicted on both charges and spent six years in jail before being freed in 2004 when his sodomy appeal was upheld.

Earlier today. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said police will not cease investigations into the allegations against the former deputy prime minister despite a leaked medical report that states Saiful has no medical evidence of sodomy. The former male aide to Anwar lodged a police report on June 28, alleging that he had been sodomised by Anwar in a condominium on June 26.

"This is just one aspect of the investigations. The police are piecing together evidence, let them do their job and complete their investigations," Syed Hamid said. "As it is, they haven't charged Anwar with anything yet," he added.

The Malaysia Today news portal yesterday revealed a medical report dated June 28 that indicated the lack of evidence of anal intercourse, with its editor Raja Petra Kamarudin also claiming that the examining doctor, Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, had gone into hiding because the police had attempted to have him change his medical report to implicate Anwar.

The police have denied the allegation.

"We interviewed the doctor in the early stages of our investigations following the police report lodged by Mohd Saiful," said Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

"But we did not arrest the doctor or detain him for three days as alleged by the Malaysia Today report. We don't have any plans to do so either," he said.