KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (picture) defence team has engaged three foreign DNA and forensic experts to assist them in his sodomy trial which is expected to resume tomorrow.
The three are DNA expert Dr Brian Leslie McDonald from Sydney, Australia, forensic experts Prof Dr C. Damodaran from Chennai, India and Associate Professor David Lawrence Noel Wells from Melbourne, Australia.
Anwar’s lawyer Sankara Nair said today he would be bringing the experts to the Kuala Lumpur High Court to attend the trial tomorrow.
According to Sankara, Dr McDonald, who has a PhD in Pathology from the University of Western Australia, has performed and reported over 5,000 paternity tests for family law cases.
He said Dr McDonald, who is director of both DNA Consults and Molecular Genetics for the Sonic Clinical Institute, has authored or co-authored 79 scientific papers, chapters in books and conference proceedings.
Sankara said that Dr Damodaran, who has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Madras, has 28 years experience in forensics and teaching and 36 years in analytical biochemistry/ biochemical toxicology forensic generics and biotechnology.
Dr Damodaran is also the founder of India’s DNA Fingerprinting Initiative as well as its first paternity testing centre.
Sankara said Dr Wells is division head of the Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine.
So far, Anwar’s accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan has taken the stand. Anwar’s one-time aide has described to the court in graphic detail how he had been allegedly sodomised.
The defence has not yet began its cross-examination of Saiful.
Anwar is accused of sodomising his one-time aide at the Desa Damansara Condominium on June 26, 2008.
The former deputy prime minister has vehemently denied the accusations hurled by Saiful, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him.
He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction.
The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008. Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences.
He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.
He had earlier led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.