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Anwar Ibrahim Accused Of Sodomy Again

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim took refuge at the Turkish Embassy on Sunday after police began probing an allegation that he sodomized his male aide, reprising a sex scandal that led to his imprisonment a decade ago.

Anwar IbrahimAnwar, 60, dismissed the accusation, made in a police complaint filed by the 23-year-old aide on Saturday, as “a complete fabrication.”

The dramatic developments that began to unfold a little before midnight Saturday will likely further roil Malaysian politics, which have been in turmoil since March 8 elections handed the governing National Front coalition its worst-ever result.

A three-party opposition coalition led by Anwar made spectacular gains, winning an unprecedented 82 seats in the 222-member Parliament and the legislatures of five states. Anwar has threatened to engineer defections from the National Front to bring down the government by September.

The sodomy allegation is “clearly a desperate attempt by the … regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people toward freedom, democracy and justice,” Anwar said in a written statement early Sunday.

Saiful BukhariHours later, he had moved to the Turkish Embassy amid concerns about being arrested and also because he had received anonymous death threats, said party official Azmin Ali.

“The (Turkish) ambassador agreed to ensure his safety,” Azmin said. Embassy officials could not immediately be contacted.

Anwar’s wife, Azizah Ismail, said her husband was “safe and sound” for now, but described the sodomy accusation as an attempt at “political murder.”

More than 50 supporters gathered outside the Turkish Embassy anticipating a visit by Anwar’s family. Police blocked roads in the area in an apparent security precaution.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi insisted the government was not responsible for the accusation, saying there was no conspiracy “to cause (Anwar) trouble or harass him or raise such issues to undermine him.”

Asked about Anwar’s denial, Abdullah said it “was common for an accused person” to claim he was innocent.

Anwar, a charismatic politician, was once part of the ruling establishment, rising to the post of deputy prime minister and finance minister in then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s government in the 1990s.

But it all unraveled in 1998 when he was accused of sodomizing his driver and abusing his power to cover up the deed. Mahathir fired him from the government and had him jailed. Anwar was subsequently convicted on both charges but Malaysia’s highest court overturned the sodomy conviction and freed him in 2004.

Anwar insists he was framed to prevent him from challenging Mahathir for power. After a decade in political oblivion, Anwar revived his career with this year’s electoral success.

In his statement Sunday, Anwar said he “recently obtained” evidence that the national police chief, Musa Hassan, and the attorney general, Abdul Gani Patail, fabricated evidence against him in 1998. He said the latest accusation was engineered by “interested parties” to prevent him from exposing the two officials.

“I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress,” Anwar said.

Bakri Zinin, the federal police chief for criminal investigations, said the aide filed a complaint Saturday claiming Anwar had sodomized him in a condominium in an upscale Kuala Lumpur suburb.

Bakri indicated Anwar faced no immediate threat of arrest, stressing police had just begun their investigation.

“We want to establish the allegation first to see whether there is truth or not,” Bakri told a news conference. “We will conduct a thorough investigation and be fair to both sides.”

Sodomy, even if consensual, is punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Anwar’s People’s Justice Party identified the accuser as Anwar’s assistant, who started working for him in March.

Anwar did not run in the March elections because his abuse of power conviction barred him from holding political office for five years. The ban ended in April, and Anwar has indicated he wants to re-enter Parliament through a by-election, which would make him eligible to become prime minister.

Source : Associated Press reporters Eileen Ng, Sean Yoong and Vijay Joshi

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3 Comments so far

  1. […] wife, Azizah Ismail, has retorted that these charges are attempts at “political murder”. The Opposition politician has also seeked refuge in the Turkish embassy and accused the Malaysian […]

  2. no imageraj said (Check me out!) on June 30th, 2008

    The Federal Court overturned Anwar’s sodomy conviction because the Court would not want to rely merely on ONE man’s evidence!! However, the Court did find evidence of sodomy!! Thus, Anwar could not really say that he is free from the sodomy charge!!!

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  3. no imageAiyzak (Check me out!) on June 30th, 2008

    I quoted this from renovatio blogged by stephendoss concrning about Anwar sodomise cases issued previously..checked it out..

    “FOR THE BENEFIT OF READERS, I HAVE EXTRACTED FROM THE PAST THE JUDGMENT BY THE FEDERAL COURT OF MALAYSIA, ANWAR’S APPEAL AGAINST HIS CONVICTION ON SODOMY. THE FOLLOWING IS A MAJORITY DECISION REACHED BY THE JUDGES SITTING IN THE FEDERAL COURT ON THE ANWAR IBRAHIM APPEAL AGAINST HIS CONVICTION ON SODOMY.

    PLEASE NOTE AND READ CAREFULLY THE VERDICT, THAT ALTHOUGH THE JUDGES HAD NO DOUBT IN THEIR MINDS THAT THE ACT OF SODOMY BY ANWAR IBRAHIM HAD TAKEN PLACE, BUT TO RELY SOLELY ON AZIZAN’S EVIDENCE WOULD BE UNSAFE FOR THE PURPOSES OF UPHOLDING THE JUDGEMENT.

    SO DID THE ACT OF SODOMY TAKE PLACE ? YES ACCORDING TO THE JUDGES. BUT DUE TO A TECHNICALITY THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO DISMISS THE CASE.

    DALAM MAHKAMAH PERSEKUTUAN MALAYSIA

    (BIDANG KUASA RAYUAN)

    RAYUAN JENAYAH NO: 05-6-2003 (W)

    ANTARA

    DATO’ SERI ANWAR BIN IBRAHIM … PERAYU

    DAN

    PENDAKWA RAYA … RESPONDEN

    RAYUAN JENAYAH NO. 05-7-2003 (W)

    SUKMA DARMAWAN SASMITAAT MADJA … PERAYU

    DAN

    PENDAKWA RAYA … RESPONDEN

    CORAM:

    ABDUL HAMID MOHAMAD F.C.J.

    RAHMAH HUSSAIN F.C.J.

    TENGKU BAHARUDIN SHAH TENGKU MAHMUD J.C.A.

    MAJORITY JUDGMENT OF

    ABDUL HAMID MOHAMAD F.C.J.

    AND TENGKU BAHARUDIN SHAH TENGKU MAHMUD J.C.A.

    In this judgment, Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim will be referred to as “the first appellant” and Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja will be referred to as “the second appellant”.

    The first appellant was charged with an offence punishable under section 377B of the Penal Code.

    The second appellant was charged with two offences. The first charge is for abetting the first appellant in the commission of the offence with which the first appellant was charged. The second charge is similar to the charge against the first appellant i.e. under section 377B of the Penal Code.

    Both the appellants were tried jointly. The first appellant was convicted and sentenced to nine years imprisonment commencing from the expiry of the sentence he was then serving in the first trial. High Court Kuala Lumpur Criminal Trial No. 45-48-1998 (1999)2 M.L.J. 1 (H.C), (2002)2 M.L.J. 486 (C.A.) and (2002) 3 M.L.J. 193 (F.C.)). The second appellant was convicted on both charges and sentenced to six years imprisonment and two strokes for each charge with the sentences of imprisonment to run concurrently. For the judgment of the High Court in the present case, see (2001) 3 M.L.J. 193.

    They appealed to the Court of Appeal. Their appeals were dismissed – see (2004) 1 M.L.J. 177.

    They appealed to this court and this is the majority judgment of this court.

    Section 87(3) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (“CJA 1964”) provides that a criminal appeal to this court “may lie on a question of fact or a question of law or on a question of mixed fact and law.” The position is the same as in the case of the Court of Appeal hearing an appeal from a trial in the High Court as in this case – see section 50(3) CJA 1964.

    To summarise our judgment, even though reading the appeal record, we find evidence to confirm that the appellants were involved in homosexual activities and we are more inclined to believe that the alleged incident at Tivoli Villa did happen, sometime, this court, as a court of law, may only convict the appellants if the prosecution has successfully proved the alleged offences as stated in the charges, beyond reasonable doubt, on admissible evidence and in accordance with established principles of law. We may be convinced in our minds of the guilt or innocence of the appellants but our decision must only be based on the evidence adduced and nothing else.”

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