PUTRAJAYA: Anwar Ibrahim failed in his final attempt to use the courts to clear himself of his sodomy conviction after the Federal Court dismissed his review application today.
His only remaining option is to file an application to the Pardons Board for clemency.
In March 2014, the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court acquittal over a charge of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
Anwar was then sentenced to a five-year jail term but was released on bail pending an appeal to the Federal Court.
However, that decision was reaffirmed by the apex court in February last year with the five-year sentence maintained. He has since been serving his sentence at the Sungei Buloh Prison.
The chronology of events pertaining to Anwar’s case, which eventually came to be known as Sodomy 2, are as follows:
June 28, 2008: Saiful Bukhari, 23, in a police report alleges that Anwar had sodomised him two days earlier at a condominium in Damansara.
June 30: Anwar files suit against Saiful for making a false police report.
July 16: Anwar is arrested outside his home in Bukit Segambut and detained overnight for investigations under Section 377A of the Penal Code.
Aug 7: Anwar claims trial at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for sodomising Saiful on June 26, 2008 at a condominium in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm. The charge carried a 20-year jail term and whipping.
Mar 5, 2009: High Court allows prosecution’s application to transfer the case from the Sessions Court.
Prior to the start of the trial, Anwar filed numerous applications, namely to strike out his charge, obtain key evidences to the trial, and to challenge the transfer order to the High Court.
Feb 3, 2010: The trial begins almost two years after Anwar was charged.
May 16, 2011: Anwar is ordered to enter his defence on his sodomy charge.
Aug 22: Anwar gives a statement from the dock. He claims that the charges stem from a political conspiracy by Prime Minister Najib Razak with the sole purpose of ending his political career.
Jan 9, 2012: High Court acquits Anwar. Judge Zabidin Mohamad Diah cites reasonable doubt to the prosecution’s case and that the DNA samples taken from Saiful were compromised before the samples were sent to the chemistry department.
July 2, 2013: Attorney-general appoints senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to lead the prosecution’s appeal over Anwar’s acquittal.
Sept 18: The Court of Appeal dismisses Anwar’s bid to recuse Shafee.
Mar 7, 2014: Court of Appeal panel led by Balia Yusof Wahi finds Anwar guilty of sodomy, overturns the High Court verdict and sentences him to five years in jail. Anwar is spared the whipping due to his age.
Apr 24: Anwar files an appeal citing 35 reasons the conviction was not safe, a week after his lawyer Karpal Singh was killed in a car crash. Former judge Gopal Sri Ram is now Anwar’s lead defence counsel.
Oct 28: Federal Court led by chief justice Arifin Zakaria begins hearing submissions. Trial lasts about a week.
Feb 10, 2015: Federal Court upholds Anwar’s conviction. Anwar begins jail sentence in Sungei Buloh Prison.
Apr 30: Anwar seeks for a judicial case review for his conviction and sentence, on the grounds of injustice.
Oct 12, 2016: Anwar returns to Federal Court in a final attempt to use the courts to clear his sodomy conviction. After listening to both defence and prosecution arguments, the five-member panel adjourns the judicial case review decision to a later date.
Dec 14: Anwar fails in his quest for a review of the Feb 10 ruling, as the Federal Court dismisses his application.