[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Malaysia opposition chief convicted of sodomy

Anwar Ibrahim's 2012 acquittal on the same charges was overturned after the government appealed against it.

Last updated: 07 Mar 2014 18:32
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A Malaysian court has convicted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy, upholding a government appeal against his acquittal two years earlier in a ruling his supporters said was politically influenced and aimed at ending his career.

The court of appeal ruled that Anwar had sodomised his male aide in 2008, a crime in the country, dismissing his defence team's argument that DNA evidence had been contaminated, according to a Reuters news agency report. 

Anwar's lawyers are expected to appeal against the ruling at the country's highest court and win a stay of the sentence, but the judgment could affect his plans to run for election in a local state seat this month.

International human rights groups have condemned the legal moves against Ibrahim as politically motivated. 

Anwar is the most potent threat to the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose popular support has weakened over the last two elections. 

Media reports said the court would soon announce a sentence against Ibrahim, according to an Associated Press news agency report. 

He had previously been sentenced to six years in jail but was released on appeal in January 2012.

That election could pave the way for him to take charge of Selangor, Malaysia's richest and most populous state.

Following the decision, a Malaysian government spokesperson said: "Malaysia has an independent judiciary and the judges will have reached their verdict only after considering the evidence in a balanced and objective manner."

232

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list