23 August, 2008

Saiful's Swearing On Quran Will Not Influence Jawi Investigation

The swearing on the Quran by Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan to prove sodomy by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, will not influence the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Affairs Department's (Jawi) investigation into the "qazaf" (slander) claim made by Anwar against the youth.

Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan swore on the Quran before scores of press members and religious officials at the Federal Territory mosque that he was sodomised by his former boss Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Saiful said: “I swear that I was sodomised by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on June 26, 2008.

“If I make a lie in this confession, then I am making a falsehood against Allah, and I am willing to accept His suffering, curse and damnation until Judgment Day,”

“It is time to honour my responsibility as a Muslim and to stand up for the truth. I deeply understand that if I am lying, I will be cursed by Allah, and woe will befall me, my family and for generations to come."

Jawi director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali said this was because the "sumpah laknat" (swearing in the face of divine retribution) made by Mohd Saiful, 23, and the investigation into the alleged "qazaf" offence had no connection.

"The investigation into the 'qazaf' offence is carried out according to the legal process and the decision will be made by the court, whereas the swearing was done in the mosque.

"Because of that, the 'sumpah laknat' made by Mohd Saiful will have no bearing on the 'qazaf' investigation," he said after opening a Muslim women's seminar on "The Challenges of Today's Adolescents" organised by the Terengganu Girl Guide Movement, here Saturday.

Che Mat said Jawi had completed taking statements from the two involved in the case which would be brought before the court soon.

On July 9, Anwar lodged a complaint with Jawi and asked for action be taken under the "qazaf" provision in syariah law against Mohd Saiful for accusing the former deputy prime minister of sodomising him.

Section 41 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 provides that anyone who makes a false accusation of committing "zina" (illicit sex) against another without producing four male witnesses or a sworn oath by the accused, is liable to be fined RM5,000 or jailed for up to three years, or both, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Saiful's act of swearing on the Quran was not wrong as it was a tradition practised by some Muslims.

While not disputing the views of some Muslim scholars who felt what Saiful did was wrong, he said some Muslims swore on the Holy Book as an act to prove themselves and Saiful wanted to show the world that he was speaking the truth.

'He has done it with proper guidance of the imam of the mosque. Of course in court it is a different thing,' Mr Muhyiddin.

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