Friday, July 18, 2008

Syed Hamid's statements indicate a political conspiracy, says Anwar's lawyer - The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (July 18, 2008) : by Llew-Ann Phang

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar’s statement in the press yesterday suggests a political conspiracy against Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar’s lawyer R. Sivarasa said: "Statements being made by senior government officials raise concerns as to the credible dispensation of the law, and suggest that a political conspiracy is very much at play in smearing the credibility and reputation of our client."

Sivarasa Rasiah, Counsel to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during his press conference at Anwar's house.

Speaking at a press conference at Anwar’s house in Segambut Dalam this afternoon, Sivarasa cited as an example, Syed Hamid’s comment : ‘What is he afraid of? He can have his own doctor present when giving the sample’.

"Besides being an inappropriate interference in the investigation, these comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of the concerns we are raising regarding the introduction of DNA evidence.

"Stop making these kind of statements, stop interfering," he said.

Refuting allegations in the news report quoting unnamed hospital authorities that Anwar did not do a strip nor was he examined, Sivarasa said the statements that Anwar did not cooperate were false.

"He agreed to meet the police, he voluntarily submitted to a strip search. He was stripped naked and he was measured," he said, in addition to giving police statements for five-and-a- half hours on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

"Even though he could have remained completely silent, as advised by his counsel, he said he had nothing to hide," Sivarasa said.

To a question if the DNA was pivotal in investigations of alleged sodomy, he said: "No. DNA is corroborative evidence but not primary evidence."

Sivarasa said as there were suspicions over the credibility of the report, there needs to be a credible complaint now, -- not the mere word of the complainant.

"Anwar has even more reason to believe the probability that DNA evidence will be fabricated once again.

"This is reasonable because the complainant (Saiful Bukhari Azlan) remains in police custody since June 28 and the police are also in possession of Anwar’s DNA from the earlier case.

"Our client’s concerns are therefore not resolved. It would have to be independently verified first that all medical examinations and sample-taking relating to the complainant were done professionally, without any police interference before Anwar will consider participating in any DNA analysis," he said.

Sivarasa also implied that in giving his statement to the police, that Anwar was not with Saiful on June 26 – the date where the incident allegedly took place – saying:

"Anwar has given all the details to the police. For us, if that’s what is investigated professionally by the police, then from there, there will be the truth and there will be no need for DNA."

However, when repeatedly grilled by journalists, Sivarasa refused to divulge details as to Anwar’s whereabouts at the material time.

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