Anwar Goes After Syariah Court Over ‘Delay’

6 January 2010

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From Malaysia Kini

PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim is set to question the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court on its “intentional delay” in hearing his action against former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan for qazaf (false accusation) which was filed two years ago.

In this regard, Anwar will file an application at the court tomorrow morning.

He will also sign the wakalah which is a legal agreement allowing him to be represented by a syarie lawyer.

Anwar had filed the suit on July 2008 to urge the court to order the Federal Territory (FT) Syariah public prosecutor to prosecute Saiful for qazaf under Section 41 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act (Federal Territories) 1997 and/or syariah laws.

He named FT Syariah public prosecutor Shamsuddin Hussain, FT religious department head Che Mat Che Ali and minister in charge of religious affairs Jamil Khir Baharom as respondents.

Anwar, 62, is facing a criminal trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for allegedly sodomising Saiful, 24, at a condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

Anwar had claimed trial and the case is scheduled to start on Jan 25.

He filed the Syariah application after he was charged in the criminal court.

Malicious allegation

When filing the Syariah application, Anwar had said the qazaf application was filed “so that the Syariah Court can clear me and my family’s name of the malicious allegation”.

“This slander is a major issue because it involves a sexual crime and the attempt is of course to mislead the Muslim population, to attack me and my character,” he had said.

Qazaf in Islamic law is to request a probe into ‘false allegations’ pertaining to adultery or sexual misconduct.

It is an offence under Section 41 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act 1997. It covers false allegations of zina (adultery, pre-marital sex or any sexual conduct viewed as illegal in Islam).

Under Syariah law, Saiful will be required to produce four credible witnesses to back up his claims, failing which he can be declared a fasid or unreliable person, and faces three years imprisonment, or a fine up to RM5,000, for bearing false witness.

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