Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak declined to comment on the legal action to set aside Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II conviction based on the allegation that the Umno president paid the chief prosecutor RM9.5 million.
“I don’t want to comment anything about a legal case,” he told a press conference after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur this evening.
Malaysiakini was barred from attending the press conference but managed to obtain a recording to the event.
This morning, Anwar’s lawyers filed an originating summons to declare the Federal Court’s decision to uphold his conviction and five-year prison sentence null and void.
This was after Sarawak Report, citing alleged leaked investigation papers, claimed that Najib paid lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah RM9.5 million in two tranches.
The whistleblower portal claimed the first payment of RM4.3 million was transferred on Sept 13, 2013, and the second payment of RM5.2 million was made on Feb 17, 2014.
Putrajaya, in a surprise move on July 22, 2013, recruited Shafee to lead the prosecution team against Anwar at the Court of Appeal, instead of the conventional practice of relying on public prosecutors.
The Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014, overturned the decision of the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, which acquitted Anwar, and sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment.
The Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015, upheld the conviction of Anwar, that he sodomised his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Shafee also publicly commented on the matter for the first time today when met by journalists at the Kuala Lumpur court complex, but merely stated that he will issue a statement at a later date.
The senior lawyer’s presence at there coincided with Anwar’s lawyers filing the originating summons at the Kuala Lumpur court complex.
Anwar is seeking a declaration that his conviction for sodomy under Section 377B of the Penal Code by the Court of Appeal on March 14, 2014, as null and void, and ultra vires of Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution regarding liberty of a person.
He is also seeking a declaration that the Federal Court decision on Feb 10, 2015, as null and void for similar reasons.