Malaysian prosecutors appeal Anwar sodomy acquittal
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Last Updated: Friday, January 20, 2012, 23:32
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian prosecutors on Saturday appealed against the acquittal of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges.

Anwar, 64, a father of six children, was acquitted earlier this month on charges of having sex with a former male aide.

Kamaludin Said, the head of the attorney general chamber's appellate and trial division, said prosecutors filed the notice of appeal at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry.

"After having evaluated the evidence adduced by both the prosecution and the defence, the Solicitor General of Malaysia has decided to file a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal against the said decision," the appeal said.

Anwar, a former deputy premier, was charged in 2008, months after his opposition scored unprecedented gains in general elections against the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled the country for over five decades.

The opposition leader has always denied the charge. Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah acquitted Anwar on January 9, saying the DNA evidence submitted by the prosecution was not 100 per cent reliable.

"After going through the evidence, the court could not be 100 per cent certain that the integrity of the DNA sample was not compromised. The court finds it is not safe to rely on the DNA evidence and as such is left only with the (complainant) Saiful's testimony," the court ruling had said.

Sodomy is a crime in Muslim majority Malaysia and is punishable by up to 20 years in jail and whipping.

Anwar, was convicted and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges more than a decade ago when he was a deputy premier during former prime minister Mahathir Mohammed's government.

The charges were slapped on him after he a fallout with his Mahathir, Malaysia's prime minister for 22 years.

He was freed in 2004 after spending six years in prison after a court overturned the sodomy conviction.

He later became a firebrand opposition leader and led his opposition alliance to an unexpected victory at the hustings in 2008 while the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional won by a thin margin to retain power.


First Published: Friday, January 20, 2012, 23:31

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