JAILED opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today filed a suit to quash his sodomy conviction following revelations that Prime Minister Najib Razak paid RM9.5 million to prosecutor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
N. Surendran, one of Anwar’s lawyers, said the suit was filed after a Sarawak Report expose on May 31, alleging that Najib used 1MDB funds to pay Shafee, the lead public prosecutor during the appeal against the acquittal of the PKR de facto leader, who faced new sodomy charges in 2014.
“We filed the application because his (Anwar’s) rights to a fair trial was denied after allegations that RM9.5 million was paid to the prosecutor,” said Surendran at the Kuala Lumpur High Court complex today.
Another Anwar lawyer, Latheefa Koya, said Shafee had benefitted financially through the case and the payment had affected the outcome of the second sodomy trial.
Surendran said Anwar was entitled to a fair trial without interference from third parties.
“We are filing the suit today because this is an urgent matter. We want a new trial date because Anwar should not be spending even an extra day in jail,” he said, adding that Anwar is suing the government.
In 2008, the former deputy prime minister was charged with sodoming his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan. It was the second time he faced a sodomy charge but was acquitted in 2012.
The Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014, reversed Anwar’s acquittal, and his appeal was rejected by the Federal Court on February 10, 2015. The latter upheld his conviction and five-year jail term.