Anwar’s lawyer to be arrested, charged over Sodomy II remarks

The lawyer had allegedly said to reporters that Najib had a hand in determining the dates for Anwar’s appeal against his sodomy conviction. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The lawyer had allegedly said to reporters that Najib had a hand in determining the dates for Anwar’s appeal against his sodomy conviction. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 — An order has been issued for the arrest of PKR vice president N. Surendran for sedition over remarks allegedly accusing the prime minister of influencing the judiciary in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against his second sodomy conviction.

A warrant for his arrest was issued today and Surendran, who is part of the defence team in the federal opposition leader’s appeal, is also scheduled to be charged with sedition at the Sessions Court here tomorrow.

According Surendran, the warrant of arrest was issued following a series of police reports by Umno leaders nationwide accusing him of causing disaffection against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“The police did not call me in to record my statement… but there is already an arrest warrant out. So at this moment I am a fugitive from justice.

“This is clearly an attempt to prevent our defence on Najib’s involvement from coming out,” Surendran told Malay Mail Online.

The lawyer had allegedly said to reporters that Najib had a hand in determining the dates for Anwar’s appeal against his sodomy conviction. A video of the press conference was later uploaded on YouTube.

Yesterday, Berita Harian reported that at least 15 police reports were lodged against Surendran over the accusations levelled against Najib.

The police have also instructed Surendran to appear at the Pudu police station at 7pm today to have his statement recorded.

The Federal Court last week fixed October 28 and 29 to hear Anwar’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s March 7 decision to overturn his acquittal by the High Court in 2012.

The appellate court found Anwar guilty of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan 26, at a unit of the Desa Damansara condominium in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The Permatang Pauh MP was sentenced to five years’ jail but was granted a stay of execution pending an appeal to the Federal Court.

In an immediate response, Anwar hit out at the charge, insisting it was a politically motivated “campaign of intimidation” against Surendran and accused Umno of interfering with the court’s processes.

“It is a direct attempt to prevent the grounds of conspiracy from being raised by my lawyers,” he said, in a statement on his blog.

The PKR de facto leader pointed out that Najib’s involvement in the case was one of the main points of defence during the course of the trial at the High Court that ended in 2012.

Anwar’s legal team had then accused Najib of meeting with Saiful two days before the latter claimed he was sodomised.

“Now, Umno is going all out to prevent my lawyers from even mentioning Najib’s involvement in this conspiracy,” Anwar said

“How is it a crime for my lawyer to state to the public this essential grounds of my defence in the appeal?”

Najib, who was then deputy prime minister, later admitted meeting Saiful but rejected the claims of a conspiracy.

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