Thursday, August 07, 2008

Anwar pleads not guilty

Anwar pleads not guilty (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court Thursday to a charge of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23.

He was accused of committing the offence under Section 377B of the Penal Code between 3.01pm and 4.30pm in unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium at 99, Jalan Setia Kasih, Bukit Damansara on June 26 2008.

If found guilty, offenders under the charge of "carnal intercourse against the order of nature", can be punished of up to 20 years' in jail.

"This is a malicious slander, I'm not guilty," Anwar, 61, said when the charged was read to him.

Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah then released Anwar on a personal bond of RM20,000 without surety, after saying that there was no likelihood that he would abscond.

She also asked the accused: "Is it true that August 10 is your birthday?" Anwar replied "Yes", resulting in clapping and cheers from those in the gallery.

The judge set for Sept 10 for mention, pending transfer to High Court if needed.

The prosecution team led by Solicitor-General Datuk Idrus Harun, did not oppose bail and proposed it be set at RM20,000 with Anwar requiring to surrender his passport.

Anwar's defence team was led by Sulaiman Abdullah. His other lawyers are Sankara Nair, R. Sivarasa, Saiful Izham Ramli, Amer Hamzah, Edmund Bon and Leela J Jesuthasan.

Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and his father, party adviser Lim Kit Siang was among those who were present in court when the PKR adviser arrived in court at about 9.40am, accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter Nurul Izzah.

There had been heavy police presence, including FRU units, unformed policemen and those in plainclothes, at the complex since 6.30am.

Security was tight at the entrance of the court complex with policemen taking down identity card numbers of those going in.

A crowd of Anwar's supporters had also been steadily growing at the court from 7am, as roadblocks set up at roads leading to Jln Duta court complex and surrounding areas caused massive jams.

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