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Anwar fails to start qazaf proceeding against Saiful

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 (Bernama) -- Former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today failed to commence qazaf proceeding against his ex-personal aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in the Syariah Court here today.

This was because a Syariah Appeals Court three-member panel chaired by Datuk Seri Dr Md Yusup Che Teh dismissed Anwar's application for appeal and judicial review against the Syariah High Court's decision on April 14, 2010 which rejected the application to commence qazaf proceeding against Mohd Saiful Bukhari.

According to Section 41 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territory) Act 1997, qazaf is accusing someone of committing 'zina' (illicit sex) without bringing four male witnesses, and if convicted, the person can be jailed for up to three years or fined up to RM5,000, or both.

Md Yusup, in a unanimous decision together with Syariah judges Datuk Yusof Musa and Mohd Amran Mat Zain, said the court was bound by the country's law based on Section 41 of the Act that sodomy was not categorised under qazaf.

"Qazaf is only for 'zina' charge cases and we are bound by Section 41 (of the Act). Therefore, we have no other option under the country's law with regard to qazaf," he said.

Md Yusup said the court also could not interfere with the powers of the Syariah chief prosecutor in relation to any charge as it was his exclusive authority and could not be compelled to initiate prosecution.

Thus, the judge said, the court had no reason to interfere in the decision of the Syariah High Court but to uphold it.

He said Anwar, as the appellant, also failed to submit an affidavit to support his appeal, and had only raised the matter orally.

"The appellant's appeal is hereby rejected with RM5,000 in costs," said Md Yusup.

On Jan 7, 2010, Anwar filed an appeal for an order to instruct the Federal Territory Syariah chief prosecutor to charge Mohd Saiful Bukhari for qazaf.

He had named the chief prosecutor, Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom as respondents.

Anwar and Jamil Khir were present at the court proceeding today. Anwar's counsel Dr Rafie Mohd Shafie, when met by reporters, said they would file for a review against the Syariah Appeals Court's decision to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong soonest possible.

Anwar, 69, is currently serving a five-year jail term at Sungai Buloh Prison after the Federal Court had on Feb 10, 2015 upheld the conviction and jail sentence passed by the Court of Appeal after he was found guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari.



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