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Anwar To Be Charged For Sodomy

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be charged for sodomy when he turns up at the Jalan Duta sessions courts tomorrow after police took a civil approach today and served him with a subpoena to appear in court. In a similar sequence of events 10 years ago, balaclava-clad elite policemen arrested him and detained him under the Internal Security Act before preferring charges.

Jalan Duta CourtsHis court appearance will come a day after the Election Commission decided that the Permatang Pauh by-election will be held on Aug 26 which Anwar said he will contest.

A police team led by DSP Jude Pereira served the subpoena just a little after noon today when they turned up at his Bukit Segambut house, which is incidentally near the Jalan Duta courts.

Anwar is scheduled to hold a press conference later at 3pm and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) officials said it could be related to a sodomy charge. He is currently speaking to his lawyers, according to lawyer Sankara Nair.

Anwar was arrested last month for questioning into the sodomy accusations made in a report lodged by former male aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on June 28. Saiful had claimed Anwar sodomised him in a posh Damansara condominium on June 26 and other occasions abroad.

The former deputy prime minister has denied the charges which mirror charges a decade ago that cost him a chance to succeed former mentor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister. Anwar has claimed Permatang Pauh is the final step before he forms the federal government by his self-proclaimed deadline of September 16.

Anwar was convicted for both corruption and sodomy and was given a total sentence of 15 years. He was released in 2004 after the Federal Court overturned the sodomy conviction but lost his Permatang Pauh seat which he had held since 1982. His wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail took over and defended the seat for three terms before quitting last week to make way for him.

She remains PKR president and also created history by being the first woman Parliamentary Opposition Leader.

Meanwhile, Bernama reports that Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said in a statement today that the move to charge Anwar was made following a decision by the Attorney-General’s office.

He said a written notice had been issued to Anwar to be present at the Kuala Lumpur Session’s Court, Jalan Duta, at 10am.

“Police had carried out an investigation on a sexual crime involving intercourse against the order of nature involving Anwar, based on existing legal principles and procedures.

“The investigation papers had been handed over to the Attorney-General’s office for advice and a decision,” he said.

Anwar won the seat in which he will stand, Permatang Pauh seat in the northern state of Penang, in 1995 with a 20,000 majority when he stood as a government candidate.

“At this moment, Anwar has the upper hand in the campaign as everyone expect him to win, but the Barisan (ruling coalition) strategy is to throw as much dirt as possible during the campaign so that even if he wins, he will win with some tainted allegations,” said James Chin, Professor of Political Science, Monash University Malaysia Campus.

Anwar was imprisoned on corruption charges in April 1999, which meant he lost his parliamentary seat. He was released in 2004 and a bar on his standing for office expired this year.

In elections in March, the opposition alliance deprived the government of its two-thirds majority due in part to popular anger over rising prices.

The prospect of political instability in Malaysia whose economy is slowing has unsettled investors who fear both the UMNO government and Anwar’s coalition will pursue populist policies to win power.

Malaysia’s key stock index has fallen almost 22 percent so far this year.

While Anwar has pledged to stamp out corruption and phase out privileges for ethnic Malays which have stifled the economy he has also said he would also reintroduce a costly petrol subsidy.

“We believe that a transition of sorts has begun (in Malaysia), but it is unclear how quickly things will change, or even the degree of change that will take place,” said James McCormack of Fitch Ratings in an emailed response to a question.

Source : The Malaysian Insider and Reuters

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