Foreign DNA experts may probe sodomy charge against Ibrahim

July 18th, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, July 18 (IANS) The Malaysian government may move court to get opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to agree to a DNA test by foreign experts to probe the sodomy charge levelled against him by an aide. Ibrahim has refused any DNA test and says even foreign experts would make no difference to him if the samples are tampered with. But the government is considering approaching the court for an order, The Star reported.

The DNA sample of his accuser, Mohammed Saiful Bukhari Azlan, would also have to be taken.

Ibrahim, who has been released on bail till Aug 18, has alleged that Azlan was working at the behest of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, a charge that has been denied.

Facing the same sodomy charge he had 10 years ago, Ibrahim Thursday refused to give a DNA sample when taken to a hospital saying he he had no faith in the system.

The DNA evidence obtained by police in his sodomy case 10 years ago was allegedly fabricated, the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.

“They (the police) fail to understand Anwar’s concern as explained this afternoon. It does not address the possible fabrication of DNA (test results) starting with Saiful (Bukhari Azlan) himself,” Ibrahim’s lawyer R. Sivarasa told the media Thursday.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, however, said: “If truth is what he is after, then Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should just give a blood sample for DNA tests.”

“What is he afraid of? He can even have his own doctor present when the tests are carried out,” Albar said, adding: “Under our laws, we cannot force a person to give a blood sample”.

Among the options police were looking at was to bring in a DNA expert of Ibrahim’s choice to dispel any notion of a conspiracy involving police.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar confirmed that police were looking at those options to show they were transparent and professional in investigating the case.

“It is quite surprising to us as others accused of sodomy are more than willing or had even begged us to take their DNA sample so as to prove their innocence,” he said.

Omar refused to comment when he was asked why the police refused to use the previous DNA sample which was taken from Ibrahim in 1998, when the sodomy charge was levelled.

He said police were “not interested in talking about the past”.

Ibrahim has been in the eye of a political storm after Azlan, an aide he employed during the March election, went to police last month alleging that the former had sodomised him.

Ibrahim has denied the charge as “a conspiracy” to prevent him from returning to parliament in a by-election.

He has emerged politically strong at the head of an opposition alliance that won an unprecedented 82 seats in parliament and control of five of the 13 states.

He has been threatening to topple Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmed Badawi’s government by Sep 16, but media on Friday speculated that his plans to cause defections from the ruling coalition had been put on hold following the sodomy charge.

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