Sodomy II: Former Malaya Deputy PM Anwar fails to disqualify judge

Monday, December 6, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has reportedly failed in his second bid to disqualify high court judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah from presiding over his sodomy trial.

According to The Star, Justice Zabidin dismissed Anwar’s application, saying that according to the court transcript over the exchange of words between Anwar’s lawyer Karpal Singh and him, he was of the view that a reasonable man, who read the words in a proper context, would not have the impression that there were a real danger of bias on his part to continue hearing the case.

This was the second time that Anwar had applied to recuse the judge, the first was followed the judge’s refusal to cite Utusan Malaysia for contempt over a news report the defence claimed was prejudicial to the case.

Anwar’s first application was reportedly rejected by Justice Mohamad Zabidin as well as by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

Sixty-three-year-old Anwar is charged with sodomising his former personal aide Mohammed Saiful Bukhari Azlan (25) at Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih.

Anwar sought to disqualify the judge on grounds that the judge had intimidated his counsel during the last proceedings, and that even though the judge had withdrawn the alleged intimidation, he felt the judge would be biased during proceedings.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohammed Hanafiah Zakaria, in his submission, argued that Anwar’s application was “frivolous and vexatious”, and that there was clearly no basis to recuse a trial judge merely because a ruling was made against an applicant. (ANI)

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