Shafee throws down the gauntlet to Anwar’s supporters

THE man who on Tuesday secured Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, threw down the gauntlet to those questioning the merits of the win, and to argue their case with him, purely on facts.

The interview below was first published in the New Straits Times dated February 12.

Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the lead prosecutor in the sodomy case, singled out several parties he said had taken been taking potshots from the periphery of the case to cast aspersions over the Federal Court’s decision to uphold the Court of Appeal’s decision to sentence conviction Anwar to of and the five years’ jail term for Anwar.

He trained his sights on several foreign governments and pro-opposition organisations, including which he said included the Malaysian Bar Council, which he said had been constant in its cry of supposed selective persecution against Anwar.

These groups, he told the New Straits Times in an interview Wednesday, would be forced to eat humble pie once they examined in excruciating minute the full written judgment expected to be issued by the Federal Court soon.

Leader of the prosecution team on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy 2 case, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. Pix by ASYRAF HAMZAH

“They would never dare to go into the eye of the storm where the real arguments are. They refuse to see all the facts.

“We (the prosecution) went right into the eye of the storm to argue our case. In fact, we took a very bold step on the very first day of trial to call Saiful in as our a first witness, when normally, prosecutors would introduce other things first so that the complainant would be a bit more comfortable.” he said.

Shafee said he had a serious issue with critics who refused to examine the case and its outcome, based on the facts.

“I am disappointed with the Americans, and to a certain extent, the British.

“Meanwhile, the Australians always seem to have a jaundiced mind.

“They refused to examine the facts. If they had, they did, only then would they realise that the judiciary only examined what was presented before them and nothing else.”

He also took to task Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong, who issued a statement saying Anwar’s conviction was one of political persecution, and not a criminal one.

“When I read what he said, I lost all respect for him. He obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about. Perhaps because he is not a criminal lawyer.

“How could you say this is a case where there is no victim? The victim has a face. Justice is not just for the big man, but for small people like Saiful, who Anwar described as a dropout.”

Shafee said those bent on questioning putting the court’s decision to question should take the time to examine the facts objectively, and cast put aside all emotions.

“Only then, they will they see why the court could only come to this and not any other decision; because the facts are so convincing.

“Even in the High Court, where Anwar was acquitted, it was only on one ground — that the plastic bag was cut by the investigating officer, which compromised the integrity of the exhibits.

“But the courts, from the start, had been consistent in saying that Saiful was a reliable and credible witness.” he said.

Shafee said the sustained cadence of political conspiracy was a “convenient way of hoodwinking the public into supporting the idea”.

He said for them to support the conspiracy theory, they must first explain how the investigating team obtained Anwar’s semen.

“It is definitely not in some sperm bank. Bear in mind that the semen that the conspirers had to get obtain must be about 48 to 56 hours old. Where on earth does anyone get that? Plus, Anwar never said he left his semen anywhere.”

He also took Washington to task for its hard stance against the court verdict, saying it was better off minding its own backyard.

Sodomy, he said, had always been in the pages of the Malaysian legal books and that the West now merely called its own version by a different name — namely sexual harassment or assault.

“If they want to discard their own religious beliefs or culture, that is their right.

“Why should they touch on the moral or religious values that we have incorporated in our own laws, when we don’t tell them what to do?

“Look at America: they were harping on our preventive laws. But look at the Internal Security Act, compared with the monstrous Patriot Act that they have maintained.

“They should look at in the mirror before they criticise us. They have the worst act ever and yet, they have the audacity to criticise our laws.” he said.

Shafee said personally, he believed that the West’s support for Anwar could just be due to because of the long-standing friendship he had with them.