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LIVE: PMO statement no bearing on judgment

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Jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has to serve out his remaining 16 months of his five-year jail sentence after the Federal Court today refused to review its own decision.


LIVE REPORTS

12.25pm: Anwar's wife and PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is welcomed by the 150-strong crowd outside the Palace of Justice after the delivery of the Federal Court judgment.

"I see many still uphold the principle of our struggle until this moment... this has helped me to regain my spirit.

"I would like to share that we should never dampen our spirit," she says it calmly, but a supporter who stands behind her cannot hold back her tears and cries.

"Lawan tetap lawan," thunders the crowd after Wan Azizah chanted the slogan created by Anwar during Reformasi.

Shortly after Wan Azizah's speech her daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, takes the stage and begins her emotionally-charged speech.

"The hope (of Anwar being released) was so big, now (I am) a bit disappointed.

Throughout Anwar's life, there was almost 11 years that he spent behind bars, and what he can give to the family is not wealth, but the value of his struggle, she says.

"This is not the end. I am telling you, we will fight back.

"You (the authorities) will pay for every single injustice that you committed towards Malaysia.

"This is a mere temporary setback. I am asking all of you, including the media, everyone can make a difference... we should ask ourselves, what can we do to change the future?" she says in a fierce tone.

"Reformasi!", she ends her fiery speech by chanting the slogan, and the crowd begins to disperse.

11.15am: There is pin-drop silence amongst Anwar's supporters outside the court as Chua reads out reports about the court's verdict.

At this time, the crowd numbering over 200 just finished their prayers. Although they were scattered all about the northwestern corner of the court complex all morning, they are now crowded around Chua.

There is no response from the crowd when he told the crowd that the application was rejected.

"We are prepared to accept that a corrupt and scandal-riddled regime would not side with the people's interests.

"Although Anwar would not be released by this judicial system, it is the people who has the power. The power is in our hands. It is us who cede power to the government; it is us who decide.

"Now we must seize this power from Najib and the government leaders. This is our pledge, and we will not back down, we will not stop.

"We will continue our fight," he adds.

Waving "Otai Reformasi 1998", they chant "Najib steps down", "Destroy BN", "Free Anwar".

Later, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution emerges from the court building to address the crowd.

He relates what transpired in the court room and asks if they accept the decision.

The answer is a resounding 'No!'.

11.02am: Anwar in commenting on the decision says this is not the end of the road and he will discuss with his lawyers on his next course action.

The jailed opposition leader reiterates his innocence.

Anwar says he somewhat expected the decision but maintains the court had failed to address all issues raised by the defence.

10.50am: Justice Zulkefli, on the matter of previous acts of sodomy as alleged in earlier Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria's judgment, says the issue of misevaluation is not within the jurisdiction of the court.

He says Saiful Bukhari Azlan had spoken of previous encounters. He dismissed the matter of the KY Jelly as a non-issue in the defence’s attack on the crime scene.

The judge says the integrity of the crime scene regarding the carpet being moved to a different condominium unit is also not an issue as there was evidence of the carpet being moved.

He also says there is no issue of miscarriage of justice regarding the chain of sampling.

Accordingly, there is no merit in the application and the application is dismissed.

10.41am: Justice Zulkefli says there is no merit on Anwar's argument on the press statement issued by the PM (which was released minutes after the Federal Court delivered its judgment), as the judgment was written beforehand.

On whether it was right to issue it, he says this was not within the jurisdiction of the court.

Justice Zulkefli also says there is no merit in Anwar's argument that the prosecutor was biased.

“It is devoid of merits and alleged misconduct by the prosecutor and there is no averment made on the allegations.”

Shafee was duly appointed, says the judge. He was a fit and proper person and there was no conflict of interest, he added.

10.40am: The speeches outside the court complex make way for special prayers (solat hajat). Anwar's supporters are now praying on mats that were laid a few minutes earlier.

Just before the break, Batu MP Tian Chua told the supporters that the decision is now being read out, but have yet to reach the conclusion.

10.35am: Justice Zulkefli adds that they took note of the submission from the prosecutor that a review in India is more liberal compared to Malaysia.

He says the court can exercise its discretion to review but this is done sparingly.

Justice Zulkefli says a review could be allowed when there is a procedural unfairness. This is within the limited scope to prevent injustice.

10.27am: Prominent lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is the lead prosecutor, enters the court room.

Justice Zulkefli now reads Rule 137 - to hear any order to prevent any injustice and abuse of process of court.

He says this does not confer any power to the court to review its own decision and he cites the Asean Security Paper Mills case, where the Federal Court dismissed the application for a review of its decision.

10.23am: Justice Zulkefli says this is a review of the Federal Court’s decision. He says the appellant had raised the issue of miscarriage of justice.

The judge reads page 30 of the judgment. He says the jurisdiction of the Federal Court and Article 128 does not provide the court to review its decision.

10.19am: Court is in session. Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum is missing from the bench.

Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who heads the five-member Federal Court panel, says Richard's aunt has passed away and he is attending the funeral.

The other three judges are Justice Hasan Lah, Justice Abu Samah Nordin and Justice Zaharah Ibrahim.

According to Zulkefli, the judgment on Anwar is unanimous and the decision is 62 pages long. He begins reading the decision.

10.12am: Only four chairs specially allocated for the judges could be seen.

Some of the prison guards have moved back into the side room, while a few remain in the court room.

10.05am: Anwar is talking to his lawyers, Sri Ram, Surendran, Ram Karpal, Sivarasa Rasiah and Latheefa Koya.

The court registrar informs the lawyers that court proceedings will start soon.

9.51am: Anwar is finally brought into the court room and greeted by his supporters and family members.

There are 17 prison guards escorting him, along with about four uniformed police personnel.

Also in court is former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim.

9.50am: Pro-Anwar group Otai Reformis, numbering about 200, briefly steals the limelight outside the court complex.

They unfurl their banners and fill the air with loud chants of 'Bebas Anwar' and 'Lawan Tetap Anwar'.

The slogans went on for several minutes and soon after, the speeches on the steps of a nearby building continued.

9.35am: Among opposition leaders in court are Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin of Amanah, Pahang PKR chief Fauzi Abd Rahman and Pakatan Harapan secretariat Saifuddin Abdullah.

The public gallery is already filled to the brim.

9.30am: There are around 100 Anwar supporters gathered outside the Palace of Justice.

Some of them patronise the stalls on the sidewalks while listening to speeches, while others are seated on the ground. More supporters are seen arriving at the venue.

At a nearby staircase, PKR vice-president Tian Chua reiterates the claim that charges against Anwar amount to political persecution, and urges supporters to continue their struggle regardless of today's decision.

9.28am: Prison guards are seen entering the side door but there is still no sign of Anwar.

Minutes earlier, the police siren was heard, perhaps signalling the arrival of Anwar from Sungai Buloh prison.

Wan Azizah and her daughter Nurul Ilham are talking to one of the prison guards.

9.18am: Amanah president Mohamad Sabu along with national laureate A Samad Said take seats reserved for the public.

Anwar, who is serving his five-year sentence in Sungai Buloh prison, has yet to be brought into the court room.

9.07am: DAP parliament leader Lim Kit Siang enters the court room and is seen having a chat with Wan Azizah and Saifuddin Nasution, the new PKR secretary-general who replaced Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli last month.

8.57am: PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail arrives, along with her daughters.

Also seen in the court room are Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul and former Penang deputy chief minister Mansor Othman.

8.52am: Anwar's lead counsel and former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram walks into the courtroom and shakes hand with the prosecutors.

8.30am: Media personnel, along with the deputy public prosecutors and members of the public, are allowed into Federal Court's no 2 court room.

The media is seated at the left side at the court while the middle and right side are set aside for the public.

Lawyers Latheefa Koya and N Surendran, who is also the Padang Serai MP, is in court, together with DPPs Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abdul Rahman and Wan Shaharuddin Wan Laden.

Among those in the public gallery include Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong.

8.15am: Ahead of the court decision, Free Anwar Now coordinator Yusmadi Yusoff calls for the immediate release of the former deputy prime minister.

“We urge the Federal Court to fully consider and fairly deliberate on the case which has thus far been plagued with many anomalies and inconsistencies, questionable DNA evidence and tampering of critical evidence.

“Questions relating to why the accuser was with the prime minister just days before the incident remain unanswered. There are more questions than there are answers in this case and the uncertainties are valid causes for concern,” says Yusmadi in a statement.

“Anwar Ibrahim, who turns 70 next year, is surely not a hardened criminal who deserves the harshness of a prison sentence. He endures physical discomfort and mental anguish daily.

“We appeal that to the learned justices at the Federal Court to appropriately, fairly and rightly consider the circumstances of his case and to take cognisance of the finding of his acquittal at the High Court.”

7.50am: The area surrounding the Palace of Justice has been cordoned off as police erected steel barricades around the court complex and uniformed officers are seen guarding the compound.

Some PKR supporters are outside the parking area, one bearing the Malaysian flag.

7.49am: Jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will find out if he will be acquitted of his Sodomy II conviction or serve out his remaining 16 months of his five-year jail sentence.

The decision on his review application seeking the Federal Court to invoke Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 and review the decision of the five-member Federal Court panel led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria to convict him for Sodomy II will be handed down today.

It is rare for the Federal Court to allow a review of its own judgment.

Anwar supporters are holding a rally outside of the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya where the proceedings will take place.

A five-member bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and comprising Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum, Justice Hasan Lah, Justice Abu Samah Nordin and Justice Zaharah Ibrahim had heard the application on Oct 12.

This is Anwar’s last legal avenue to challenge his conviction, failing which he will have to continue serving his sentence until mid-2018.

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