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Court adjourns, condo visit tomorrow

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The Sodomy II trial resumes today with the defence ending its cross-examination of star witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, but reserved the right to recall him later. VIDEO l 4 mins



9.02:am: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his wife, PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail ( above ) arrive at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in the Jalan Duta Court Complex.

Also entering the courtroom are Anwar’s lawyers Sankara Nair, CV Prabhakaran and Param Cumaraswamy.

The Sodomy II trial resumes today with the defence continuing its cross-examination of star witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The trial took a break last week, which saw Anwar failing to get a stay in proceedings at the Court of Appeal.

Anwar is challenging High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah’s decision to deny him access to the police statements made by the complainant Saiful. The defence lawyers have accused the prosecution of conducting the trial by ambush.

NONE 9.23am: A group of about 10 youths calling themselves Pemuda Islam ( right ), tried to hold a protest at the main gate of the Jalan Duta Court Complex, near the car park. However, they were quickly stopped by the police and their placards seized.

They were protesting against PKR for "insulting Islam" and demand that Anwar apologise.

Trial has yet to begin. Apart from police personnel and journalists, there appears to be fewer people than usual in the public gallery today.

9.30am: Lead defence counsel Karpal Singh, who is wheelchair-bound, arrives in court.

In a separate development, the High Court has dismissed Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s application to set aside the judgment in default entered against him over a RM100 million defamation suit filed by Anwar.

NONE Anwar, 63, filed the suit against Khairy ( right ) last year, claiming that the Umno leader had uttered defamatory words against him.

According to the PKR leader, Khairy's statements on his alleged sexual orientation put him in bad light. They also portray the opposition leader as "a homosexual, and a man of low morals who also has no Islamic values".

9.35am: Court is called into session as High Court judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah enters the courtroom.

9.40am: Karpal Singh once again asks the prosecution to provide a copy of the witness list. He says the defence has tried to contact the owner of the Desa Damansara condominium where the alleged sodomy act had taken place, but he was not contactable.

"We need assistance from the prosecution. I'm sure he (the condo owner) will be called (as a witness)."

Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, who is leading the prosecution team, says he only got to know today of the application to revisit the condominium.

NONE Anwar, from the dock, says the witness is scared. Star witness Saiful ( right in photo ) takes the stand.

9.47am: Saiful is being cross-examined by top defence lawyer Karpal. Saiful says his father divorced his mother when he was in Standard One.

Karpal asks about Saiful's younger sister Saidati, who is said to have followed a man to Thailand and gotten married there.

9.58am: Karpal goes through Saiful’s earlier testimony on his meetings with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, senior police officer Rodwan Mohd Yusof (then deputy CID director, now Malacca police chief), former PKR Youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor (now senator) and former national athlete Mumtaz Jaafar, a close friend of the PM’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Karpal asks Saiful whether Najib, Mumtaz, Rodwan and Ezam have lodged police reports on his allegations that he was sodomised by Anwar.

Saiful says he does not know.

azlan 10.01am: The court stands down for a few minutes following an exchange between Karpal and solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden.

Earlier, Karpal argued that Najib and the others could be charged for not lodging a police report over Saiful’s sodomy allegation.

"Under Section 13 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it is a procedure for someone to lodge a police report. If this is not done, it is an offence under Section 202 of Penal Code," says Karpal.

10.07am: Hearing resumes. Karpal asks Saiful about his oath taken at the Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan , which was done several days before nomination day of the Permatang Pauh by-election two years ago in which Anwar contested.

Saiful had sworn on the Quran in front of one of the mosque's imams that he was sodomised by Anwar.

He denies the oath-taking was premeditated and says he had wanted to do it earlier.

10.15am: Karpal stops cross-examination and says he reserves the right to question Saiful on another date.

Yusof, in re-examination of Saiful, askes about the victim's experience at Pusrawi Hospital, where he first went for a medical examination.

Saiful denies having said a plastic object was inserted in his anus.

“I also did not say such thing to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital doctors or the police.”

The witness also says that Ezam and Mumtaz were against him lodging a police report out of fear for the repurcussions on his future.

Saiful is then released from witness stand, subject to recall from Karpal.

NONE The court takes a short break as the prosecution wants to call Hospital Kuala Lumpur doctors.

Defence lawyers Karpal and Sankara say they want their expert witness to be present during the doctors’ testimony.

10.52am: Both defence lawyers and prosecutors are meeting with judge Mohd Zabidin in chambers.

11.00am: It is announced that the members of the court will soon proceed to the Desa Damansara condominium in Bukut Damansara where Saiful alleged Anwar had sodomised him.

The hearing is to resume at 2.15pm.

1pm: Lawyer Sankara says in a mobile text message to reporters that the court visit to the condominium has tentatively been postponed to Tuesday morning.

"The police confirmed that the owner (of the Desa Damansara condo unit) is in Bukit Merah in Perak and can't make it today. Police will try arrange for another visit to condo tomorrow morning," said Sankara.

"We will be back to court at 2.15pm to report to the judge," he added. 

2.30pm: Hearing has been adjourned to tomorrow afternoon. First on the agenda is a visit to the Desa Damansara condominium. 

VIDEO l 4 mins

[More to follow]  

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