|Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim|
In another blow for Anwar on Monday, Court of Appeal judge Ahmad Maarop said it could not hear the case because the High Court order in August was not a formal decision which could be reviewed.
"We have no jurisdiction to hear and determine this appeal. We dismiss the appellant's appeal," he said, drawing an angry response from Anwar whose counsel said they would appeal to the nation's highest court.
"Justice was not served in this case. The right to be heard was not there. It was an absurd judgement," he told reporters. "This is a sorry state of affairs of the judiciary in the country."
Defence counsel Karpal Singh bitterly criticised the decision, saying it merely rested on a technicality, and that the defence had had no opportunity to put forward its arguments.
"The decision given by the Court of Appeal is unsupportable, illogical, against common sense. Unfortunately, we are bound by it," he said.
"This court, in my view, has abdicated from its duty to do justice."
Anwar has repeatedly said he is the victim of a political conspiracy and that he fears he will not receive justice on the charges which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
The trial, which opened in February but which has been punctuated by lengthy delays and made little progress, will now resume and the High Court will on Tuesday fix a date for the next hearing.