The trial of Anwar Al Juburi is scheduled to be held in High Court in September 2009.
Barring any delays caused by preliminary applications or objections, the hearing will begin with the prosecution calling its first witness.
The witness will give his testimony first in the form of examination-in-chief led by the prosecution and then, if the defence wishes, he will be cross-examined.
The prosecution is entitled to re-examine the witness.
Cross-examination is not confined to facts raised during the examination-in-chief. But the re-examination is restricted to matters raised in cross-examination and new matters may only be introduced with the court's permission. If there are new matters, these can be cross-examined and re-examined.
Leading questions are not allowed in examination-in-chief unless with the court's permission for matters which are undisputed, introductory or already proved. Leading questions are allowed in cross-examination but the question may not be put into the mouth of a witness in the very words he is to echo back or assume unproven facts.
Leading questions are those which suggest the answer which is desired.
A witness may also be cross-examined to test his accuracy or credibility. However, the court can forbid irrelevant, indecent or scandalous questions or those which are intended to insult or annoy.
The judge may also ask the witness any question at any time.
After this process, the witness may leave. However, either side may apply to recall the witness if necessary.
The admissibility of evidence is governed by the Evidence Act 1950. The general rule is that the evidence must be relevant to the case.
The law lists down instances where different types of facts would be considered relevant and when evidence of which would be admissible.
The witness may give his evidence in any language he chooses, even if the proceedings are entirely in Bahasa Malaysia. His testimony will be translated into Bahasa Malaysia or English if the hearing is in English.
The witness may also make reference to documents or physical objects which may be tendered as exhibits. The documents must be original copies except in certain circumstances.
If there is a need for expert witnesses to give an opinion, usually medical or scientific evidence, such a person may be called.
According to the Act, in criminal cases, the fact that the accused person is of good character is relevant. But the fact that he is of bad character is not relevant, unless earlier evidence of his good character had been given.
Witnesses who are waiting to give evidence are not allowed into the courthouse to hear the testimony of others.
After the prosecution has called all its witnesses, the prosecutor will sum up the evidence heard thus far. The prosecution will also offer all its uncalled witnesses to the defence. The defence is allowed to make submissions.
The judge will decide whether there was prima facie evidence to call for defence. If he finds there is, the case will enter the defence stage.
The accused has three options - remain silent; give a statement from the dock; or take the witness stand. If he remains silent and calls no witnesses, he can be convicted as he has not rebutted the prosecution's evidence.
If he gives a statement from the dock, his statement will become part of his defence but carries less weight because he cannot be cross-examined.
If he elects to give evidence, he will take the stand and be questioned by his lawyers in an examination-in-chief. He will then be cross-examined by the prosecution and re-examined by his lawyers, if necessary.
The accused person in the witness stand, however, cannot be asked, and if asked is not forced, to answer any question which tends to show that he has committed (or convicted of or been charged with) any offence other than the one he is now facing. He cannot be questioned about his bad character as well.
He can only be questioned about these matters if proof of the other offences is necessary to show his guilt in the current charge, or he has given evidence of his good character or his defence involves the character of the prosecutor or his witnesses.
After all his witnesses have been called, the defence sums up. The prosecution has a right to reply.
The accused will be found guilty if the judge finds a case against him beyond reasonable doubt.
If he is convicted, the judge will hear the plea in mitigation and notes any criminal record he may have before sentencing.
If he is found not guilty, he will be acquitted.
The burden of proving the case lies on the prosecution; the defence needs only raise a reasonable doubt.
If Anwar Al Juburi is convicted of the charges, he can appeal to the Court of Appeal against conviction or sentence, or both. If he is acquitted, the prosecution can appeal to the same court.
Three judges will listen to the appeal. Whichever party loses can file an appeal at the Federal Court. This final appeal will be heard by a minimum of three Federal judges.
There is no further appeal to a court but a convicted person can appeal to the Pardons Board, asking for a full pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The Pardons Board is the last chance for a convicted person to obtain his freedom.
If this fails, he will serve his jail term but can have one-third knocked off for good behaviour.