Malaysia' Anwar to call PM in sodomy case

The judge said the case would continue on Wednesday afternoon.

Malaysia' Anwar to call PM in sodomy case

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Tuesday he would subpoena the country's premier in a bid to escape what he says are politically motivated charges of sodomy that could see him jailed for 20 years.

Speaking outside a packed courtroom and cheered on by supporters shouting "justice for Malaysia, justice for Anwar" the 62-year-old former deputy premier said Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, had met his accuser and interfered with the trial, something a spokesman for Najib denied.

"They consider me a major threat. I am not a threat to Najib, I am just an alternative," Anwar told cheering supporters after the end of the first day of a trial attended by foreign embassy staff monitoring the case.

A call by Anwar's lawyers that the case be halted pending an appeal for the charge to be struck out were dismissed by the judge who said the case would continue on Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier, Anwar, accompanied by two of his daughters and his wife, told reporters the prosecution was down to "the machinations of a dirty, corrupt few".

The government insists it was not involved in the decision to take the case to trial.

"The PM and his wife have nothing to do with it," a government spokesman said in response to Anwar's comments.

Inside the court, diplomats from the United States, European Union, Australia, Japan and Britain observed the proceedings.

Anwar's previous convictions for sodomy and corruption followed his dismissal as deputy prime minister in 1998, and most international observers said at the time the trials were not conducted fairly, an accusation that haunts the current hearing.

If found guilty of the charge of sodomising a young male aide, Anwar, one of Asia's best known politicians, could face 20 years in jail.

His last conviction for sodomy, later overturned, saw him sentenced to nine years in prison.



Reuters

Last Mod: 02 Şubat 2010, 14:53
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