** High Priority **

Appellate Court strikes down Anwar's appeal against Mahathir subpoena

11.30am, MON: The Court of Appeal this morning struck down sacked
prime minister Anwar Ibrahim's appeal against High Court judge Arifin
Jaka's decision to set aside the subpoena for Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad to testify in the on-going sodomy trial.

Appellate Court president Lamin Yunos and two other judges, Ahmad
and Dennis Ong, also ordered the sodomy trial to proceed.

Soon after the three-member panel sat this morning, Lamin allowed the
preliminary objections raised by Attorney-General Mohtar Abdullah on
of the prosecution.

Mohtar said that the decision of judge Arifin in respect of the setting
aside of the subpoena on the prime minister is not a final decision.

"Therefore, the decision is not an appealable one," said Mohtar.

"If the judge feels that the prime minister's evidence is needed for the
case after all the other witnesses are called, the prime minister may be
called in," he added.

In response, defence counsel for Sukma Dermawan, who is on trial with
Anwar, Gobind Deo Singh said that his client has finished all the
except Mahathir.

"He (Sukma) has concluded his defence and the question of asking the
to decide again later on the prime minister's evidence does not arise," he

The defence will now file a notice of appeal to the Federal Court, the
country's highest court, in a day of two.

"Let the Federal Court determine the matter once and for all," said
Christopher Fernando, a member of Anwar's defence team.

He said that as soon as the Federal Court grants a date for mention, the
defence will ask judge Arifin for a stay of proceedings of the sodomy