Doc: Sodomy act ‘unlikely’ for Anwar in his condition
9:04AM Oct 7
Dutch orthopaedic surgeon Dr Thomas Hoogland continued his testimony today and was cross-examined by the prosecution in the Sodomy II trial.
Yesterday he told the court the extent of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s injury as a result of a police assault he suffered after being sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998.
Anwar had surgery on the fourth and fifth lumbar of his lower back in 2004, which had subsequently restrict his mobility and movement.
Hoogland also testified that following inspections done last month, he believes Anwar cannot undertake any vigorous activity.
Yesterday also saw Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah striking out the subpoenas served on Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, to testify as witnesses.
Lead defence counsel Karpal Singh has indicated they will appeal yesterday’s ruling, which they will file later today.
The hearing may not continue in the afternoon as Najib, who is also finance minister, will be tabling the 2012 Budget.
8.45am: Trial begins with High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah presiding. Dr Thomas Hoogland is called to take the stand.
8.50am: From the micro-anatomy, the spine doctor says the nerve has blood vessels and “we have learnt a lot since, in relation to blood supply”.
“Blood supply is the main problem when there is damage to the nerve,” says Hoogland.
8.55am: He says, “When we consider the sexual act, it is unlikely to be possible.”
“Based on the examination of Anwar and the MRI results, it (to perform the sodomy act) is not possible for his age,” says Hoogland.
The defence team ends its questioning of witness.
8.57am: He is handed over to the prosecution for cross-examination. Solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden begins questioning.
NONE9.07am: There was a light moment when Yusof went through the details of the human anatomy.
“You’ve passed the test,” says Hoogland.
9.14am: Hoogland (right) tells the court that when people are in the 40s and 50s, they may suffer from disc herniation.
He also says that at the age of 40, some people may develop arthiritis.
9.32am: Yusof asks Hoogland about lumbar stenosis.
9.35am: Hoogland says to check for stenosis, he would take a look at the hips, then have the patient stand up and do bending movements.
“Then you have him stand on his toes and do reflexes. We also do tests on the sensation to see if the nerve is blocked or not.”
9.45am: Hoogland says based on the condition of the back, he would recommend several modes of treatment to lumbar stenosis.
This includes physiotheraphy, anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injection which can only be peformed three times a year, acupuncture or chiropractor treatment and surgery.
9.48am: The spine doctor says Anwar’s injury was not caused by age but as a result of the police assault.
He had stenosis and nerve damage.
9.50am: PKR central committee member Latheefa Koya enters the courtroom and takes a seat in the public gallery.
Hoogland says Anwar was tested for flexion (bending forward) and extension (bending backwards, and to the back, then left and right).
“Anwar sensed more pain on the left,” he said.
9.56am: Hoogland shows the computer MRI scan on Anwar to demonstrate the extent of Anwar’s injury.
10.05am: PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin walks into the courtroom and joins the crowd in the public gallery.
10.11am: Hoogland, in reply to Yusof, says there was improvement following the surgery, but “we cannot make it heal it completely”.
10.12am: He denies that the surgery alleviates the problem completely, and there is still significant pain.
Yusof asks for break. Judge orders the court to stand down for a few minutes.
10.40am: Court resumes.
Hoogland says that following surgery Anwar was at the hospital in Munich, Germany, for three weeks between Sept 6 to Sept 27, 2004.
He says that Anwar recuperated further at a hotel.
10.50am: Following the examination after the surgery, Hoogland says Anwar had managed to gain some strength to his back.
“However, he still has pain on the left side of his back.”
11.02am: Hoogland says the surgery would slow down the process of the injury to the joint.
“It softens the pain but it does not heal arthritis.”
11.04am: The spine specialist says he did not meet Anwar between 2005 and September 2011.
11.10am: In his Sept examination, Hoogland says there was no scoliosis, but there Anwar experiences back pain when he bends his back by five to 10 degrees and there’s significant back pain in flexion (bending forward) by 15 degrees. He adds Anwar has not undergone treatment since 2004.
“Anwar’s walking is okay. But (in) bending he has a problem.”.
11.17am: Hoogland says Anwar will have problems if he wants to pick something up that has fallen in front of him.
“If he bends slowly it would be al lright, but there will be pain.”
At around this time Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng walks in and sits besides PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
11.25am: Hoogland explains he expects Anwar to suffer degeneration of the back between 2004 to 2008, much more in comparison to the period between 2008 to 2011.
He explains that this is because 2004 to 2008 is a four -year period while the latter is only three years.
Yusof asks for a stand down to show a CCTV recording of Anwar to the witness. A short recess is called.
Police forensics begins installing computer equipment to play the CCTV recording.
11.47am: As the session resumes Hoogland is shown a CCTV recording of Anwar entering the lift of the Desa Damansara condominium.
Anwar in the footage is seen picking something up with ease.
The doctor disagrees with the conclusion saying the CCTV recording’s playback speed is faster than normal.
11.49am: Hoogland says he cannot see if Anwar is in pain or not due to the CCTV recording.
“He is likely Mr Anwar and he is able to bend. I never said he cannot bend.
“He has pain in bending and he has to do his motion slowly. Here you do not see it.”
Yusof asks to clear the court in camera (private session, not open to the public).
11.53am: The court is now proceeding in camera where the public gallery has been emptied of the public.
12.25pm: the re-examination has ended. Trial will resume from Oct 17 till 20.
When the hearing resumes former IGP Musa Hassan and former Malacca police chief Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof will take the stand.
12.38pm: Sankara tells reporters that the next witnesses will be Musa and Rodwan.
The prosecution will also make an application to call two or three witnesses to rebut the defence witnesses.