Accessibility links

Malaysia's Anwar Provides Alibi, Challenges Sodomy Allegations


Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has provided an alibi to police to prove he did not sodomize a former male aide.

Anwar's lawyer, Sivarasa Rasiah, told reporters Friday that Anwar has given full details of the alibi to police, but refused to elaborate.

Anwar was arrested Wednesday outside his home, after the 23-year-old former aide filed a sodomy complaint against him. He underwent several hours of interrogation and a medical examination, but refused to allow authorities to take a DNA sample.

His lawyer Rasiah Friday said Anwar will consider giving his DNA only if it can be independently verified that all procedures are done "professionally" and without police interference that might alter the results.

Rasiah said Anwar has reason to believe DNA evidence will be fabricated, because of what happened to him before. In 1998, Anwar was dismissed as deputy prime minister and convicted on sodomy and corruption charges. The sodomy charges were later overturned, but he had already spent six years in jail.

The lawyer also said the need for DNA analysis has not been justified, since the police report made by the complainant remains "shrouded in secrecy."

Anwar has dismissed the sodomy allegations as a conspiracy against him.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied the charge, saying there is no conspiracy or "act to victimize" Anwar. He challenged the opposition leader to provide a DNA sample, saying if he really has not done anything, then he should give one.

Sodomy carries a punishment of up to 20 years in jail in Malaysia.

In March, Anwar led the opposition to a stunning electoral victory, breaking the ruling National Front coalition's two-thirds-majority hold on parliament for the first time in four decades. The opposition also won control of five states.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG