Malaysian prosecutors appeal Anwar sodomy acquittal

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.

PTI



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

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