‘No tear or injury in Saiful’s rectum’

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PUTRAJAYA: The first doctor who examined sodomy complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan did not find any tear or injury on him that indicated penetration, but the High Court and the Court of Appeal had not taken this into consideration, the Federal Court was told yesterday.

Ramkarpal Singh, counsel for the accused Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said that the testimony of Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid, a former Pusrawi Hospital doctor, was not considered “at all” by the courts.  

“When he (Dr Mohd Osman]}examined Saiful, he found Saiful’s anus to be normal,” Ramkarpal said.

Dr Mohd Osman’s testimony as a defence witness differed from that of three other doctors who examined Saiful later, Ramkarpal said. Dr Mohd Osman, the first doctor to examine Saiful, found that there were no traces of blood nor a tear in his rectum.

Ramkarpal pointed out that the prosecution did not call Dr Mohd Osman to testify, and neither did they impeach him if they doubted his testimony.

Counsel argued that the High Court judge and the Court of Appeal took as “gospel” the testimony of the three government doctors — Dr Mohd Razali Ibrahim, Dr Siew Sheue Feng and Dr Khairul Nizam  Hassan— that penetration did take place.

He argued that it was merely an assumption that there was penetration.

Ramkarpal submitted that the doctors who prepared their report two days after receiving the chemists’ report said that they “could not initially comment on whether penetration took place without knowing from which site the samples were taken”.

However, they changed their mind in court — to say that there could possibly be penetration — when they were shown samples which were labelled by investigating officer Jude Pereira.

He went on to argue that the samples taken from Saiful may not have been the same samples that were presented as evidence.

“The High Court judge and Court of Appeal clearly shut their minds off to a very critical issue, that is whether or not there was a break in chain of evidence in this case … was there a real possibility that the wrong samples were analysed,” he said.

He also submitted that government chemists Dr Seah  Lay Hong and Nor Aidora  Saedon were biased witnesses, and that both the High Court and the Court of Appeal did not consider this. He argued that Dr Seah had not hesitated to speculate in many circumstances, an example being when she was questioned on the stains on the trousers.

Ramkarpal said that Dr Seah refused to commit to the obvious suggestion that if there were seminal stains on the back of the underwear, surely it would would have stained the trousers.  

However, he added that she did not hesitate to speculate when prosecution had questioned her regarding the material of the pants despite the fact that she was not an expert on fabrics.

The hearing at the Federal Court was adjourned to this morning as lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said he needed more time to prepare a more concise submission.

Muhammad Shafee told reporters that the written submissions from Anwar’s side was only given to him on Tuesday.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 31, 2014.