The Sodomy II Trial: Does the Federal Court Set A New Precedent When Dealing with Government Expert Witness?

Mohd Munzil Muhamad, Ramalinggam Rajamanickam

Abstract


On 10th February 2015, the highest Court in Malaysia, the Federal Court delivered its decision on an appeal made by a well-known politician, Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim (DSAI) who has been convicted for committing carnal intercourse against the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari bin Azlan. Within the Malaysian context, this case is commonly known as the “Sodomy II Trial” since the accused was also charged with a similar offence in a separate case back in 1998. In this recent case, the Court had to deal with several types of evidence including expert witnesses. DNA experts were called by both parties during trial but during the appeal at the Court of Appeal, the Court favoured the evidence given by the government experts over the experts called by the Defence. In the Federal Court, the evidence given by the DNA experts have been re-evaluated and the Federal Court also favoured the evidence given by the government experts. In the light of the approach taken by the Court when dealing with expert evidence, this article addresses the issue of preferential treatment given to the government expert witnesses in Malaysia by taking into account the decision of the Malaysian Federal Court in the Sodomy II Trial. The article is qualitative in nature. It is a pure legal research whereby it focuses only on the legal component. This article found that the Malaysian courts have deviated from the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Munusamy v Public Prosecutor [1987] 1 MLJ 492 regarding the issue of expert evidence.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n1p397


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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