PUTRAJAYA, Oct 12 ― The Prime Minister's Department did not influence the Federal Court's decision in PKR's Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy II case last year, an aide to the prime minister said.

Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, who identified himself as the media department director at the Prime Minister's Department, explained that press statements had been prepared for both eventualities.

This was why the department was able to release a statement moments after Anwar’s conviction was upheld in February last year, he said.

“This is because the applicant's case is a case of great public interest, therefore there is a special need for the Prime Minister's Department to prepare a press statement immediately,” he said in an affidavit that was read out in the Federal Court today by a government lawyer.

His affidavit was filed in reply to Anwar's application for the Federal Court to review its decision to convict and sentence the latter to five years' imprisonment for sodomy, in which the PKR leader had cited the swift statement as a reason why his conviction was unsafe and must be set aside.

Tengku Sariffudin claimed that Anwar had made various accusations against the PMO for the purpose of his review application.

“I stress that that media statement does not show that the Prime Minister's Department already knew the decision of the applicant's case before the decision was read out by the court. It also does not give the impression that the applicant did not get a fair and independent hearing,” he said.

“I also firmly deny any accusation that the Prime Minister's Department colluded with the courts or any quarters to determine or influence the decision in the applicant's case,” he added.

Earlier, Anwar's lead counsel, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, highlighted that the PMO's statement was issued just 15 minutes after the Federal Court handed down its decision last February 10 and before the judges decided on Anwar's sentencing.

He noted that the Prime Minister's Department did not issue any statement at any stages of Anwar's first sodomy case, of which he was later acquitted, questioning why it would issue a statement in this case.

Gopal claimed that this statement showed the PMO's interest in Anwar's case, dubbed Sodomy II, and bolstered the latter's allegation that there was a “political conspiracy” against him.

He also questioned the credibility of the affidavit filed by Tengku Sariffuddin, saying there was no evidence that an alternate statement had been prepared as claimed.

“If the other statement is not produced, it doesn't exist,” he said.

Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid from the Attorney-General's Chambers, who represented the prosecution and read out excerpts of Tengku Sariffuddin's affidavit, said it was not necessary for both pre-planned press statements to be presented in court.

He also said Tengku Sariffuddin had previously explained that the Prime Minister's Department had prepared statements for Anwar's case ahead of the Federal Court's decision, as is customary with others such as lawyers and politicians.

Today is the hearing of Anwar's application for the Federal Court to review its decision last year to convict and sentence him to five years in jail for sodomy.

Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the five-man panel today, said the Federal Court will deliver its decision on a date to be fixed.

The other judges on the panel are Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim.

On February 10, 2015, the Federal Court upheld an earlier ruling for the conviction and five-year jail term of Anwar over the sodomy of his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.