After almost a two-month hiatus, the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy II trial resumes tomorrow and will continue for the next six weeks with the continued cross-examination of two Hospital Kuala Lumpur doctors – Dr Siew Shueu Feng, Dr Khairul Nizam Hassan and possibly other witnesses including a chemist who may testify on the DNA test performed on the semen.
However, Anwar’s team may find itself hampered as two of its hired specialists – pathologist Dr David Wells and DNA specialist Dr Brian McDonald – may not be available for the earlier portion of the trial.
The hearing resumes after Anwar’s defence team had failed in their appeal at the Court of Appeal in seeking the recusal of the High Court trial judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah for the second time.
On Dec 6, Justice Zabidin dismissed Karpal Singh’s appeal application on the grounds there is no threat of bias to his conduct, after the senior lawyer pointed out that the judge had not followed a Supreme Court ruling in providing the defence team access to all the doctors’ notes and other forms during the examination of the victim, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
At one point of time, Zabidin was seen to warn Karpal with contempt.
The hearing itself stops when Karpal tried to test the credibility of Dr Siew, who refused to look at the pro-forma notes taken when interviewing Saiful.
Anwar, 63, is charged with sodomising Saiful, his former aide, at the Desa Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008.
Doctor refused to look at notes
Dr Siew had consistently refused to look at the pro-forma notes, or other medical notes which he had taken while testifying, in a bid to prevent the defence from being given access to it.
As a result he had testified based on his memory.
However, Anwar’s defence team had caught the HKL doctor in a compromising position when the witness admitted he had looked at the pro-forma notes during a short recess granted by the court.
The pro-forma notes are a set of questions and procedures which doctors use in handling cases of sexual assault.
This resulted in Justice Zabidin ordering Dr Siew (right) to provide the notes to the defence team, after he had earlier provided to them a blank pro-forma note denoting the type of questions asked to sexual assault victims.
Dr Siew is seen as a vital witness as he was the one taking the notes and also labelling the samples taken from Saiful’s examination.
He had then passed the samples which were sealed in a plastic bag to investigating officer ASP Jude Blacious Pereira.
Dr Khairul Nizam Hassan, 40, was meanwhile responsible for doing the physical examination on Saiful, saying during the examination-in-chief by solicitor general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, that he found stretch marks on Saiful’s back.
He then concluded that there was penetration.