PUTRAJAYA: After serving some 20 months for sodomy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim returns to the Federal Court today for the hearing of his final legal bid to set aside his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence.
Hundreds of Opposition supporters had gathered at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya from as early as 7.45am to offer their support for Anwar's final bid for freedom.
However, their hopes of seeing Anwar's arrival were dashed as he appeared to have used another entrance to arrive at court. He appeared inside the courtroom at about 9am and was greeted by his family members present.
Anwar filed a review application on April 30 last year after the Federal court on Feb 10, the same year affirmed his guilt for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 31.
In the application, the former Opposition leader had sought for a fresh panel of judges to review the previous decision.
He also wants the Federal Court to invoke Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 and review the decision of the five-man bench led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.
Alternatively, he wants the Federal Court to re-hear his appeal on its merits.
Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules 1995 allows the losing party to seek a review of a Federal Court decision.
Today, the matter is before a different panel led by Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.
The others presiding are Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin and Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim.
The previous panel was led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria and the others presiding comprised Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Ramly Ali.
Retired Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram acted as lead counsel for Anwar while the prosecution team was led by Appellate and Trial Division at the Attoney-General's Chambers Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid.