Malaysia court refuses to drop sodomy case against Anwar

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 21:27

Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian court on Wednesday
refused to throw out sodomy charges against former deputy
Premier Anwar Ibrahim saying he failed to show the allegations
against him are "oppressive and an abuse of court".

The three-judge panel in the Court of Appeal today
unanimously upheld the High Court`s decision and denied
Anwar`s verbal appeal to stay the trial that may jeopardise
his political aspirations.
"We are of the view that Anwar had not shown that the
charge or prosecution against him was oppressive and abuse of
court process that warranted the appellate court to exercise
its inherent power to set aside the charge," a judge said.

The 62-year-old leader is accused of forcing his aide
24-year-old Saiful to have anal sex at an upscale condominium
here on June 26, 2008. Anwar, who is charged under Section
377B of the Penal Code, can face up to 20 years in prison and
whipping, if convicted.

Anwar`s Indian-origin counsel, Karpal Singh said the
notice of appeal to the Federal Court and a formal stay
application would be filed tomorrow.

Anwar`s sodomy trial began at the Kuala Lumpur High Court
earlier this month with Saiful giving his testimony, alleging
the former Prime Minister sodomised him, a charge denied by
the de facto leader of the opposition.

The trial was held in-camera after the first day, when
Saiful gave graphic details of what allegedly happened at the
Saiful lodged a police complaint in June 2008 against
Anwar, but the medical reports of the aide did not show any
conclusive proof of anal penetration, media reported.

Sodomy is a crime in this Muslim-majority country.

Earlier, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the
Australian High Commission here, asking them not to interfere
in their affairs as some Australian parliamentarians urged
Malaysia to drop the charges against Anwar.

The trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow with a decision
by the High Court judge on whether to recuse himself from the
case after Anwar accused him of being biased.

This is the second time Anwar has been accused of sodomy.
Earlier, he was fired from the post of deputy premeir by then
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during a power struggle in
1998, accusing him of sodomising his family driver.

He was put behind bars for six years and freed in 2004
when a court overturned the sodomy conviction.


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First Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 21:27

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