PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today rejected Anwar Ibrahim final bid to get statements recorded by police from Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in connection with his (Anwar's) ongoing sodomy trial.
Anwar wanted the statements, claiming that there were contradictions between Saiful's testimony adduced in the trial and the sodomy charge framed against him (Anwar), which he said, could lead to a possible impeachment of Saiful's testimony.
Anwar, the Permatang Pauh MP, claimed that Saiful had testified that the alleged sodomy took place without his consent, but he (Anwar) was charged under Section 377B of the Penal Code with consensual sexual intercourse.
Saiful, 25, the complainant, who has concluded giving evidence in the trial, is the star witness in the case.
In a unanimous decision, the apex court led by Chief Judge of Malaya Arifin Zakaria held that the High Court's ruling was not within the definition of word "decision" and that it was not a final order under Section 3 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.
"We agree with the Court of Appeal's decision that the ruling of the trial judge in this case was not a decision and that it is not appealable," said Arifin, who sat with Federal Court judges James Foong and Md Raus Sharif in hearing Anwar's appeal.
On the issue of a two-page "broad reasons" raised by Anwar's lawyer Karpal Singh in his submission during the appeal, Arifin said the grounds by the Court of Appeal described as 'broad reasons" was clear and comprehensive, as it contained all the ingredients of an oral judgment.
Karpal on Aug 19 had insisted that the Federal Court order the Appeals Court to furnish further grounds for its dismissal of Anwar's appeal, saying the judgment were just broad reasons.
However, Arifin in his judgment said the Appeals Court had ! given br ief but concise reasons citing a number of authorities in support of its decision.
"In some instances, short and concise grounds of judgment will suffice. In this case, the issue before the Court of Appeal was whether there was a right of appeal against the decision," he said.
"We agree that as a general rule, it is incumbent upon the court making a decision to provide reasons for its decision as litigants are entitled to the same. But this ground of judgment, as we said earlier, need not be long, depending much on the subject matter in issue," he said.
He pointed out that the reason need not be long especialy when the outcome was obvious and the judgment becomes long because facts which are sometimes unnecessary are repeated.
He stressed that Chief Justice Zaki Azmi had been advocating that judges should strive to write short and concise judgments where appropriate.
"We entirely agree with him. This what the Court of Appeal had done in this case," Arifin said in a 19-page judgment rejecting Anwar's bid to overturn the Court of Appeal's decision to dismiss his appeal.
Anwar, 63, was appealing over the High Court's refusal to allow him to obtain the statements.
He is on trial on a charge of sodomising Saiful, his former aide, at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.
He faces up to 20 years in jail and whipping, if convicted.
See What Barisan Nasional Gotta Say?