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No medical evidence that the adopted brother of Anwar Ibrahim had been sodomised………


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 (Reuters) - A government doctor told Malaysia's High Court on Tuesday there was no medical evidence that the adopted brother of Anwar Ibrahim had been sodomised, despite his confession to such an act by the ousted minister.


But Zahari Noor, who examined the anus of Sukma Darmawan, said if the sodomy had taken place five to 10 years ago, there would no longer be sign to confirm it.


Sukma and one of Anwar's speechwriters, Munawar Anees, were each sentenced to six months in jail on September 19 after pleading guilty to allowing themselves to be sodomised by the former deputy prime minister in April 1998 and March 1993, respectively .


They later filed appeals, saying police had coerced their guilty pleas. Sukma was released on bail last week pending the outcome of his appeal against his conviction.


Anwar, who was arrested one day after Sukma and Munawar were sentenced, has pleaded not guilty to corruption and sodomy charges which he says are part of a conspiracy against him orchestrated by political opponents. Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Christoper Fernando, Zahari told the court that he had conducted a medical examination on Sukma on September 9 after he was arrested.


"What did you examine and what were your findings," asked Fernando.

"When I examined his private part, there was no evidence of any injury, whether recent or old," the doctor said.


"Further examination of the anus showed normal appearance and no significant findings. So I conclude there was no medical evidence of any blunt object that

had passed through into his anus.


"That's my conclusion."


Fernando said: "So in layman's terms, you're saying there seems to be no history of homosexual relations."


"I would say there was no evidence of anus intercourse," came the reply. The courtroom was stunned by the doctor's revelation.


"No evidence of homosexual intercourse," muttered Fernando, hanging on to Zahari's last words for effect.


The defence lawyer then asked Zahari, who had also taken Anwar's blood sample for HIV examination by other experts, if he could tell whether Anwar had the AIDS virus.


But Judge Augustine Paul disallowed the question, ruling that it would be hearsay and irrelevant to the charges before Anwar.


Prosecution chief Abdul Ghani Patail, in re-examining Zahari, asked if he could confirm that Sukma had never been sodomised. "Would you be able to tell, positively confirmed, that no blunt object had passed through Sukma's anus five or ten years ago by just physically examining the anus."


Zahari said: "If it was that long, yes, all the signs would be negative unless it's a case of habitual homosexual activity. In other words, if it is until the day I had examined him."


Judge Augustine then asked Zahari if his testimony was based merely on whether there was sign of any blunt object having intruded Sukma's anus. The doctor described in detail how his examination had been comprehensive.