Investigating Officer did act according to police procedure, prosecution says

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PUTRAJAYA (Oct 31): Contrary to the defence's claim, Investigating Officer Jude Pereira did act according to police procedure when handling the samples, the lead prosecutor in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II appeal told the Federal Court today.

The manner in which Pereira had handled the evidence, is a point of contention in the case. Pereira had opened the sealed envelope containing the separate tubes of samples. He had claimed that he did not see any markings on the tube, and therefore took it upon himself to put the tubes in separate envelopes and label them.  

He claimed that he was merely following the standard procedures of police in handling evidence.  

Yesterday, Anwar’s counsel Ramkarpal Singh submitted that Pereira had acted against orders, as it was not part of the police procedure to open a sealed item of evidence. He said Pereira was lying, when he said he did not tamper with the evidence.  

Ramkarpal pointed out that not only did Pereira remove the tubes from the sealed plastic bag, he also did not store the samples as instructed. He was told to keep the evidence in a freezer. Instead, he placed the envelopes in an iron safe and left the air-conditioning on for 24 hours.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted today that the police procedures require police evidence to be placed in separate packages.

He noted that Pereira had taken the tubes and placed them in separate envelopes.  

Repeating his argument in the Court of Appeal, Shafee said Pereira had no ill intention when he opened the sealed plastic bag containing the tubes with samples.  

Shafee produced the sealed plastic bag in court today, and submitted that the bag was carefully cut from the bottom. The official seal however was still intact.  

Shafee said that if Pereira wanted to tamper, he could have removed the seal and later carefully replaced, it but he didn't do so.

Shafee also countered Ramkarpal's argument that Pereira had tampered with the sample by adding another DNA.

Shafee said it was not put to the Investigating Office (IO) that he tampered with the evidence at the trial stage. He submitted that this is not a bonda-fide cross examination.

"It was not put to the IO, but we are now making allegations against him," he said.

Shafee continues with his submission on Monday. The matter has been extended until Tuesday.