Kuala Lumpur: Human rights group Amnesty International has urged Malaysia to drop a "politically motivated" sodomy charge against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, ahead of the trial due to start next week.
Anwar lost his final appeal on Friday for access to the government`s evidence in a case which could see him jailed for up to 20 years if convicted of sodomising a male former aide.
Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister and jailed a decade ago on separate sodomy and corruption charges.
"The Malaysian authorities have resorted to the same old dirty tricks in an attempt to remove the opposition leader from politics," Sam Zarifi, Amnesty Asia-Pacific director said in a statement issued late yesterday.
"Malaysia`s judiciary should throw out these charges."
Amnesty said it is "seriously concerned" over a fair trial for Anwar, especially after yesterday`s ruling which the watchdog described as an infringement of international fair trial standards.
"Anwar`s case has rightly raised doubts among the international community and investors about Malaysia`s commitment to justice and the rule of law," Zarifi added.
Anwar spent six years in prison after he was convicted in 1998 but the sex charge was eventually overturned. Amnesty had considered him a prisoner of conscience before his release.