29 June 2008

Malaysia's Anwar accused of sodomy

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was accused Saturday of sodomizing a man, police said, sparking speculation that he might be arrested on the same charge that led to his imprisonment a decade ago.

Anwar, who resurrected his political career after leading the opposition to spectacular gains in the March 8 elections, denied the allegation, calling it a "complete fabrication."

"This is clearly a desperate attempt by the ... regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice," the 60-year-old former deputy prime minister said.

Anwar claimed the report was engineered by "interested parties" to prevent him from exposing the national police chief and the attorney general for their alleged role in having him accused of corruption and sodomy in 1998.

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."

Abdullah declined to say whether Anwar would be arrested. Asked about Anwar's denial, Abdullah said it "was common for an accused person" to claim he was innocent.

Anwar was ousted from government 10 years ago amid accusations of corruption and sodomy. He was convicted on both charges, but Malaysia's highest court overturned the sodomy conviction and freed him in 2004.

Anwar said in a statement he "recently obtained" evidence implicating Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan and Attorney General Gani Patail of misconduct and fabricating evidence against him. He said he will release the evidence soon.

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

The developments that began to unfold a little before midnight could have an impact on Malaysian politics, which have been thrown into turmoil since the March 8 elections in which the governing National Front coalition returned its worst ever result.

The Front lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority, returning to power with only a simple majority, and ceded control of five of Malaysia's 13 states to Anwar's three-party opposition alliance.

Kuala Lumpur's police chief for criminal investigations, Ku Chin Wah, said a man filed a police complaint late Saturday claiming that Anwar sodomized him. Ku told The Associated Press that the complaint was being investigated.

Sodomy, even if consensual, is punishable by 15 years' imprisonment in this Muslim-majority country.

Anwar had been attending a weekend party meeting in a hotel near Kuala Lumpur, but he moved to a secret location amid concerns about being arrested, party officials said

"Because he is considered a threat to the government, we are concerned about his safety. He can't afford to be detained again. He's in a safe location now," party deputy president Syed Husin Ali told The Associated Press.

A person close to Anwar, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements, said Anwar was likely in a foreign embassy in Kuala Lumpur after being offered security there.

Ku said police have no immediate plans to arrest Anwar, and declined to identify the accuser. The opposition People's Justice Party said the man was coerced into making the accusation

The man went missing Saturday morning and his whereabouts remain unknown, said Sivarasa Rasiah, a top party official.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad fired Anwar from the Cabinet in 1998 amid accusations that he sodomized his family driver and abused his power to cover up the deed.

Anwar insisted he was victimized by a political conspiracy to prevent him from challenging Mahathir for power.

Anwar did not personally run in the March elections because his corruption conviction barred him from holding political office for five years. The ban ended in April, and Anwar has since indicated he wants to re-enter Parliament through a by-election.

(News from Yahoo)

2 Macro Voice(s):

3POINT8 said...

eh? u are covering msian news now?

Marc said...

No la, as long as its news, I will cover lor. This one is big news now what....