KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 (Bernama) -- The grounds of written judgement of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal on a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, is not yet ready.
Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh said he was informed by the trial judge's secretary that the judgement was not yet ready.
He said this to reporters after checking on the judgement with High Court Judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah's secretary at the Jalan Duta Court Complex, here, today.
He, however, said that a trial judge was obliged to provide a grounds of written judgement within eight weeks from the day a notice of appeal was filed, as provided under the Chief Justice Circular.
On Jan 20, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) had filed the notice of appeal against Anwar's acquittal from the sodomy charge. The notice which was signed by Solicitor-General Datuk Idrus Harun was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Criminal Registry.
Karpal also said the AGC had the power not to proceed with the appeal after perusing with the grounds of written judgement by the trial judge.
Karpal said it was still open to the AGC not to prosecute the appeal further, after reading and being satisfied with the written judgement which contained the exhibits, notes of proceedings and the written judgement.
"We have done it (not to appeal) in other cases. When I get the petition of appeal, I found the grounds were not worth to proceed with the appeal," said Karpal.
He said the AGC had 10 days to file the petition of appeal under the Rules of Court of Appeal 1994, upon receiving the record of appeal and if the 10-day period had lapsed, it was deemed to be withdrawn (the petition of appeal).
The party who had filed the notice of appeal at the High Court registry, would have to file the petition of appeal at the Court of Appeal Registry, if they wanted to pursue the appeal, upon receiving a complete record of appeal.
On Jan 9, Justice Mohamad Zabidin acquitted and discharged Anwar after the court found that it could not be 100 per cent certain that the integrity of the DNA samples had not been compromised and that it was reluctant to convict Anwar based solely on the uncorroborated evidence of Mohd Saiful.
Anwar, 64, had been charged with sodomising Mohd Saiful, 26, at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara here between 3.10 pm and 4.30 pm on June 26, 2008.
He was charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code which carries a sentence of up to 20 years' jail and whipping, upon conviction.