Thursday, July 17, 2008

Anwar calls for transparency, professionalism - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Jul 17, 2008

Malaysia's opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a news conference at his residence in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2008. Anwar has been freed on police bail, his lawyers said on Thursday, but the lingering threat of a sodomy charge stoked political tensions and cast gloom on financial markets - The Sun.

PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called on senior police officers to be transparent in their investigation. He also asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to ensure the probe is conducted professionally.

At a press conference Thursday, Anwar said he had to sleep on a “cold cement floor” on the 7th floor of the IPK KL during his overnight detention.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arriving at his home in Bukit Segambut on Thursday morning after being released on police bail.

His age coupled with his back problems made sleeping on the floor difficult and his doctor had to bring painkillers to help ease the pain.

Anwar questioned why there was a need to arrest him when he had promised to go to IPK KL at 2pm.

He urged senior police officers to exercise professional conduct in their investigation of the sodomy claims against him.

“I am challenging the competence of the IGP (Tan Sri Musa Hassan) and A-G (Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail). They shouldn’t see it as a personal vendetta against me. I’m doing this as a citizen,” he said.

Twice during his press conference Anwar called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to ensure the investigation is conducted professionally.

He also asked the police to be transparent in their investigation, saying he gave them his full co-operation during the questioning as well as at Hospital Kuala Lumpur where he had a medical checkup which included “checking of my private parts”.

He said he didn't want his photo to be taken for fear that they would end up on video sharing portal YouTube.

Anwar said the only thing that he did not consent to was giving his blood for the DNA test as he was not convinced it would not be tampered with.

“Why should I give blood when my blood is already in their (the police’s) possession?” he asked.

Anwar questioned why he still had not seen the details of the sodomy allegation against him despite having been questioned for five hours and detained overnight.

“This is a very serious accusation yet we have still not seen the report,” he said.

He reiterated that he had a strong alibi.

Commenting on the arrest of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, Anwar questioned why there was no investigation into Raja Petra’s allegations when "there is evidence".

Speaking to reporters after the press conference, Anwar’s lawyer Sankara Nair said Anwar’s bail expires on Aug 18 when he will have to report to the police. He added that Anwar will only give a DNA sample if ordered by a court.

At another press conference, at Bukit Aman, the IGP said police are looking at the possibility of getting a court order to compel Anwar to give his DNA sample.

On Thursday morning, Anwar was released on police bail after having his statement recorded the night before, the Deputy IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar said.

He was safely back at his home in Bukit Segambut in Kuala Lumpur by 10.05am.

Anwar's statement was taken down to facilitate police investigations into the report lodged on June 28 by his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan alleging he had been sodomised by the PKR de facto leader.

"He was arrested yesterday (Wednesday) as he was a suspect, and his arrest was made in accordance with the law," Ismail said.

"Police followed every procedure and had even informed him and his lawyers that the warrant for his arrest had been obtained.

"He was treated fairly and according to due process of the law, which included allowing his wife (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) to visit him at about midnight," he added.

Ismail said police would continue with their investigations.

He also appealed to the public not to speculate and to allow the police to investigate this case as they would any other case.

At a press conference at about 10am, Anwar's lawyers R. Sivarasa and Sankara said that no charges had been levied on the former deputy prime minister at this time.

He will have to report to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters on Aug 18 however.

They said that Anwar refused to give a DNA sample on Wednesday night because they feared there would be fabrication of evidence, which Anwar had alleged had taken place in the infamous "black eye" incident of nearly a decade ago.

At that time, Anwar was alleged to have committed sodomy too.

He lodged a police report against IGP Musa and A-G Gani, who were the investigating officer and chief prosecutor respectively in that case.

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