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Monday, August 8, 2011

Judge allows Anwar to interview Najib, Rosmah but up to them to agree

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:27 PM | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Controversial judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah, often accused of bias against Anwar Ibrahim, surprised the court when he allowed the Opposition Leader's request for Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor to take the witness stand in the ongoing sodomy trial.

However, lawyers warned Anwar's supporters not to be too happy as both the PM and Rosmah have already declined to do so, which means a court subpoena or summon would have to be applied for and issued before the first couple could take the stand.
"This is when the government will block the request. The trial judge can play good guy now but once the request for the subpoena is made, he may decide differently," one of Anwar's legal team told Malaysia Chronicle.
Indeed, Zabidin already gave a hint of what was to come. He held that while it is the prosecution's responsibility to ensure the attendance of witnesses to be interviewed, witnessess also had the right to decide if they wished to attend.
"The court is allowing both applications," said Zabidin on Monday.
Normally, defense lawyers will interview the witnesses before putting them on the stand. Both Najib and Rosmah have refused to  co-operate, despite the seriousness of the charges which could earn Anwar 20 years in jail if found guilty.
It sparked immediate speculation the duo had 'something' to hide as Anwar has long-accused the couple of having conspired with sodomy complainant, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, to lodge a false report against him to derail his political comeback.

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