|Saiful Bukhari Azlan|
Malaysians are bracing for the resumption of the Sodomy II trial, and for once, the centre of attraction will not be Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim but complainant Saiful Bukhari Azlan, DPP Farah Azlina Latiff and even her ex-fiance whose identity is now the object of burning curiosity.
However, those hoping to catch a glimpse of them are likely to be disappointed. It is unclear if Saiful will make an appearance in court, but for sure Farah and her ex-fiance will try their best to avoid the media circus that is bound to erupt.
Sources tell Malaysia Chronicle that Farah’s ex is a government prosecutor based in a northern state, who was heartbroken when she left him for Saiful. Commentators in cyberspace have even alleged that she and Saiful are already married. However, Saiful also has his own fiancee. None of the four have responded to the allegations and it is not known what is their real status now.
“All this is very disturbing and it makes us even more worried about the entire case. From the beginning, no one expected Anwar to get a fair trial,” PKR supreme council member Badrul Hisham Shahrin told Malaysia Chronicle.
“But this is beyond imagination. It shows a gross lack of morality in the masterminds behind the sodomy plot and what they will dare to do just to get Anwar into jail.”
Is this Najib's Malaysia?
|Saiful and fiancee Janna Syariza|
Anwar, the 62-year-old PKR adviser, was accused of sodomizing Saiful at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
He has denied the charges and accused Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor of collaborating with Saiful to frame him and derail his political comeback.
“We have always questioned the mala fide of the government in pursuing this trial. Even without evidence of penetration, Najib has insisted on pushing the case through. Why? And why has the mainstream media been working overtime to paint Anwar as the guilty party,” Sivarasa Rasiah, Anwar’s lawyer, told Malaysia Chronicle.
|Farah Azlina Latiff|
"Basic fair trial rights require giving Anwar access to the prosecutor's evidence so he can defend himself. Unfortunately, the prosecutors have tilted the playing field against Anwar by keeping key documents from his lawyers," HRW deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement out on Friday.
A former star Finance Minister, Anwar was riding high when ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad slapped sodomy charges against him in 1998. Anwar denied the charges, saying they were trumped to curb his rising political popularity. However, after a trial that was widely condemned as a kangaroo court, Anwar was jailed.
It was only in 2004, after Mahathir had retired, that he was acquitted and freed. In mid-2008, Anwar announced he would contest the Permatang Pauh by-election, which would pave the way for his return to the Paliament. He suddenly found himself accused of sodomy again but despite the negative publicity, he won by a landslide.
If found guilty, Anwar can be jailed up to 20 years under a law that criminalizes both non-consensual and consensual anal sex.