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Monday, January 30, 2012

Jamil Khir, MAIWP duo get leave to strike out qazaf appeal

January 30, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers walked out of the Syariah Court of Appeal this morning after it gave Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and two others leave to set aside the opposition leader’s qazaf appeal without first providing grounds.
Anwar’s lead counsel Kamar Ainiah Kamarulzaman had objected to the hearing of the application by the Islamic affairs minister and two senior Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) officers, arguing that procedure had not been followed.
“Our lawyers argued that you must provide grounds but the judges ruled in favour of Jamil Khir (picture),” PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad told The Malaysian Insider.
But the three-man Bench, headed by Datuk Zohdi Taha, said grounds were not needed for the trio’s application to be heard.
Kamar Ainiah then said her team of four lawyers could not be associated with the court’s decision and left the courtroom along with PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also Anwar’s wife.
Lawyers representing Jamil Khir, MAIWP chief prosecutor Shahsuddin Hussain and MAIWP director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali then asked that Anwar’s lawyers be cited for contempt.
PKR de facto leader Anwar had filed an application in January 2010 to compel Shahsuddin to prosecute his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan after he declined to proceed with the qazaf case.
The Permatang Pauh MP then took his case to the Syariah Court of Appeal after the High Court had dismissed his application.
The former deputy prime minister, who was recently acquitted of sodomising Saiful by the Kuala Lumpur High Court, named Jamil Khir, Che Mat and Shahsuddin as respondents.
The trio have also been embroiled in controversy over the alleged use of RM63,650 in zakat funds to pay for legal fees related to the qazaf case.
But they have denied abusing the alms money, with Che Mat insisting that zakat can be used to “defend the sovereignty and honour” of Islamic institutions.
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