PUTRAJAYA: It was never proven that the DNA found in the rectum of sodomy complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan belonged to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the defence said in its closing statement in the Federal Court’s hearing of Anwar’s appeal against his conviction.
According to a report by The Malaysian Insider, this, and the presence of a third party’s DNA in Saiful’s rectum, suggested that Anwar’s former aide could have been sodomised by two people, making lies out of his claims against the politician, the defence submitted.
Co-counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo continued the defence’s closing reply from yesterday morning by submitting on points to break the chain of evidence linking Anwar to “Male Y” — the DNA profile found in the rectum of Saiful which the prosecution claims is Anwar’s.
Sangeet reiterated the defence’s argument that there was no proof Anwar had used three items in the police lock-up where he was held for investigations. The DNA profile on the three items had matched the profile of Male Y in Saiful’s rectum, and the prosecution used this link as the basis for their case against Anwar.
The items — a water bottle, a toothbrush and a towel — were in the lock-up on the night in July 2008 when Anwar was arrested for allegedly sodomising Saiful.
Sangeet said there was a CCTV camera in the cell but it was not working at the time, and police officers who watched over Anwar were not called to testify if they had seen him using the items.
A policeman’s claim that he heard Anwar brushing his teeth, and therefore the opposition leader must have used the toothbrush, also could not be verified as there was no water source or sink inside the cell, Sangeet said.
She told the court that the prosecution was relying on circumstantial evidence to say that Anwar was Male Y, said The Malaysian Insider report.
The prosecution has not proven this link and it cannot ask the court to rely on “weak” circumstantial evidence, Sangeet added.
She also submitted that the police had resorted to obtaining Anwar’s DNA through unlawful means by using the three items as evidence because the PKR de facto leader had refused to give his samples voluntarily.
“There was no reason to detain him overnight as he was prepared to come back to the police station the next day. This is where the ulterior motive rose,” Sangeet said.
Co-counsel Gobind Singh Deo then took over the defence’s closing reply by noting the different areas in the case where the prosecution was shifting the burden of proof to the accused.
According The Malaysian Insider’s report, they were asking the defence to prove that Anwar was not Male Y, that he had not used the items in the lock-up, and to explain how Male Y’s sperm got to Saiful’s anus.
Gobind said the High Court as well as the Court of Appeal had erred in inferring that since Anwar was the lock-up’s sole occupant, the DNA of Male Y must belong to him.
He said the defence had proven that the DNA samples had been tampered with by the existence of a third party’s DNA — Allele 18 — which did not come from either Saiful or Anwar.
Gobind criticised the prosecution’s lead officer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for sounding more like a defence lawyer as he had posed more questions in his submissions than he had provided answers.
Gobind said the prosecution had not excluded Allele 18 and the issue of contamination or tampering was still open.
The Malaysian Insider’s report said since the scientific evidence showed that there was DNA of Male Y and Allele 18 in Saiful, it could be suggested that he had sexual activity with two people.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 7, 2014.