Malaysia's Anwar pleads not guilty at sodomy trial

Anwar's case is likely to turn on disputed DNA evidence and medical testimony that his lawyers say is contradictory.

Malaysia's Anwar pleads not guilty at sodomy trial

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty at the start of his sodomy trial on Wednesday, saying the "malicious" charges were a conspiracy to end his political career.

Prosecutors said they had DNA samples and other evidence to prove that Anwar had sexual relations with Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a 24-year-old former aide in his office.

"It is a malicious allegation. It is a frivolous charge. It is trumped up by political masters using the prosecution for that purpose," Anwar told the High Court.

Anwar was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to nine years in jail in 2000 in a trial that drew widespread condemnation, although the charge was later quashed.

Since his acquittal and return to parliament, Anwar has harried the government into dismissing its prime minister, who lead the National Front coalition to its worst ever showing in national and state elections in 2008.

Sodomy carries a penalty of up to 20 years in Malaysia

Anwar's case is likely to turn on disputed DNA evidence and medical testimony that his lawyers say is contradictory and which they have not been given access to.

The case was adjourned until Thursday.


Agencies

Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2010, 14:38
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