It is certainly true for Anwar Ibrahim, poised to be convicted once again by Malaysia’s criminal justice system (perhaps “injustice” more apt?) on more ridiculous sodomy charges on 9 January – that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

If he survives the near certain conviction and incarceration, he should really consider employing female only staff the next time around as I am sick and tired that the two things Malaysia is mainly known for internationally are the Truly Asia tourism campaign and sodomy. Although, now that the UMNO conspirators have a chubby Anwar look-alike (I thought he looked more like Chua Jui Meng), any lurid and salacious plot will now be possible. So don’t be surprised if the next Anwar sex scandal revolves around a Jewish-US-World Bank-IMF-Communist-free and fair election plot to undermine Islam and the Malays.

Back to 9 January.

Once again, the main conspirators – senior UMNO officials, judges, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the police and government medical and forensic professionals have all been involved, just like in the earlier corruption and sodomy cases. Evidence was fabricated and suppressed at will. All rational, logical and established legal reasoning and practise were thrown out in favour of the prosecution’s inherently incredible case.

Of course like all bad sequels, the script was spiced and sexed up, among others, the outrageous charge that Anwar, then 61, with a well documented serious back condition had somehow managed to repeatedly and forcefully sodomised (described as “laju dan rakus”) Saiful Bukhari, then 23, over a period of time; where Anwar’s “pristine” DNA evidence was magically retrieved after 56 hours in Saiful’s rectum, and left in the open for another 48 hours (described as one of the longest documented “discoveries” in the world by the defence DNA expert); Saiful bringing K-Y jelly to court in a last ditch attempt to “prove” that he was indeed forcefully sodomised (surely a first in the world where an alleged male rape victim voluntarily brought lubricant to be sodomised); leading one of the female prosecutors to fall in love and had an affair with Saiful (you can’t make this up); and a prosecution witness doctor who even testified of a miracle i.e. of penetration indicative of sodomy even when the initial medical report stated that:

No conclusive clinical findings suggestive of penetration to the anus/rectum and no significant defensive wound on the body of the patient. – Kuala Lumpur General Hospital report, 28 June, 2008.

Hallelujah! A miracle unseen since more than 2,000 years ago.

In the present case, the alleged victim is known to have had contact (and in fact testified in court and confirmed by the prime minister) with senior police officers and high-level UMNO politicians, including the prime minister and his lovely first lady, before he made his police report against Anwar.

And just like the old trials, the present trial was riddled with political interference; falsification and suppression of evidence; blackmailing of prosecution witnesses as well as several of Anwar’s close friends and associates; harassment of defence lawyers and also several civil servants who did not speak, report or act according to the recommended script; the court’s rejection of crucial documents, and refusal to allow witness testimonies, which were favourable to the accused; and a string of unfair or questionable rulings and decisions by the judges, both during the course of the trial and in the ultimate judgment of the cases, which often put a premature end to the defence counsel’s line of questioning.

Now, with Anwar once more poised to lead the opposition coalition into the next general election (the bookies seem certain that it’ll be around March/April 2012) – with good prospects of taking over the reins of government – it is clear that the whole trial and near certainty conviction is again politically motivated, a renewed attempt to sabotage the opposition coalition from ending more than half a century of UMNO-BN rule.

Only in our criminal justice system can the prosecutors and the police fabricate evidence at will, witnesses including medical and forensic professionals mislead and lie under oath, and the judges (most of them anyway) just accept them by coming up with unsound and baseless reasoning. This persecution and blatant injustice should not come as a surprise as the case should be seen in the broader context of systematic harassment and attacks on the opposition and its elected representatives, often employing the AG’s Chambers to prosecute them on oppressive, frivolous or even fabricated charges, via the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

9 January will once again demonstrate that in politically important cases, the criminal justice system can be manipulated, and the judiciary, the AG’s Chambers, the police and even government hospital doctors and chemists will all play and dance along.

The only notable difference now is that both of Anwar’s previous trial judge-tormentors Augustine Paul and Arifin Jaka are now dead – not that I am hinting at some kind of omnipotence cosmic-karma retribution that would befall the present judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, as every one eventually dies – but merely to point out that when the gruesome twosome died – no one remembered them fondly other than the despicable roles they played in Anwar’s trials.

How will history and the rakyat remember judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah and the other dirty dozen or so characters who have screwed up the criminal justice system this time around?

  • Najb Razak and Rosmah Mansor, Prime Minister and FLOM;
  • Hishammuddin Hussein, Home Minister;
  • Musa Hassan and Ismail Omar, former and current Inspector-General of Police, SAC Mohd Rodwan, DSP Jude Pereira and other police officers involved;
  • Abdul Gani Patail, Attorney-General, Yusof Zainal Abiden, Solicitor General II and chief prosecutor, Nordin Hassan, CK Wong and Noorin Badaruddin, Farah Azalina (the amorous prosecutor) and other DPPs involved;
  • Zaki bin Azmi, Chief Justice and former UMNO legal adviser and other judges involved;
  • Dr. Siew Sheue Feng and Dr. Razali Ibrahim of Hospital Kuala Lumpur and other medical professionals involved;
  • Dr. Seah Lay Hong and Dr. Lim Kong Boon of the Chemistry Department and other personnel involved.

Eric Paulsen is the co-founder and adviser of Lawyers for Liberty.