Tuesday, July 29, 2008

'Regrettable' but leaked report valid: Lawyer

Source: Malaysiakini


the leak of sodomy complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s medical report is ‘regrettable’, the report’s contents are admissible evidence in court regardless of how they were exposed, said a senior counsel today.

"The courts have always taken the position that evidence that is relevant is admissible even though it has been wrongly exposed," Sulaiman Abdullah, one of the lawyers representing PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim told reporters in Petaling Jaya.

"The situation now is that everybody knows about this medical report and while an invasion of doctor-patient confidentiality has occurred, it’s regrettable, but you cannot run away from the fact that it’s now very clear that there is no sodomy involved," he stressed.

"That is what the police are investigating and that is what the police should concentrate on," Sulaiman, who was present at a press conference called by Anwar today, added.

anwar ibrahim saiful bukhari sodomy allegation  medical report pc 290708 lawyersThe former Bar Council president (centre) was asked to comment on concerns expressed over the infringement of patient-doctor privacy with the leak of the medical report on Saiful.

Copies of the two-page medical report, which had been circulated on the Internet, were distributed to the media at the press conference today with the medical terminology explained in layman’s terms.

The report outlined the results of a thorough medical examination on Saiful which found no indication he had been sodomised four hours before he lodged a police report against Anwar alleging the same on June 28.

Saiful was examined by Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, the medical officer on duty at Hospital Pusrawi in Kuala Lumpur at the time.

An internal inquiry by the hospital is underway to determine how the medical report was leaked.

Twenty-three year old Saiful is claiming that his ex-boss Anwar had sodomised him two days before he went to the police. The police are investigating Anwar on this matter.

‘Do what is right and just’

Sulaiman saluted Mohamed Osman whom he described as a ‘brave doctor’.

"We salute the brave doctor involved who has been put under tremendous pressure - according to reports - to falsify (the medical) document with fictitious facts.

"He has stood firmly by his professional ethics and religious obligations to speak the truth," said the lawyer.

anwar ibrahim saiful bukhari sodomy allegation medical report pc 290708 05Sulaiman reminded the authorities not to target the messenger, but to focus on the message.

"Look at the message that is implicit in that document no matter how it surfaced in the public domain and act according to that message," he said, adding that Anwar will also pursue his qazaf complaint filed with the syariah court earlier this month.

Qazaf is a request for a inquiry based on Islamic methodology into ‘false allegations’ pertaining to adultery or sexual misconduct.

At the press conference, Anwar (above, third from right) also commended Mohamed Osman’s courage in standing firm as well as the whistle-blower who leaked the report.

"I will appeal to many others, doctors in particular, to do what is right and just," said Anwar.