Anwar Ibrahim Faces Sodomy Inquiry

Posted on 13 April 2010

Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader who once was the country’s deputy prime minister, has been accused of sodomising a male aide.

Police are investiagting the complaint, Ku Chin Wah, Kuala Lumpur’s police chief for criminal investigations, said on Saturday.

Anwar’s lawyer has denied the allegation and Anwar himself called it a “complete fabrication”.

The opposition Keadilan party said that Saiful Bahari, one of Anwar’s aides, had been arrested on Saturday and “forced” to make a statement saying Anwar had sodomised him.

The police declined to identify who had made the complaint.

Anwar, who has taken refuge at the Turkish embassy in Malaysia, told Al Jazeera the accusations are politically motivated.

‘Tampered evidence’

“This is because there is growing support for the People’s Alliance [group of opposition parties] among members of parliament … the government is under threat and there is also a lot of disgruntlement among the Malaysian public against the abuse of power and economic woes,” he said.

“I have also made it known that I have in my possession, documents implicating the inspector-general of police and the attorney-general in misconduct, including the fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against me in 1998 and 1999.

Anwar said those involved had allegedly tampered with evidence.

“I fear for my safety … my friends are very concerned for my safety. I was beaten to near death when I was in detention … but they [the authorities] have given a flimsy statement that I will not be arrested for now.”

Police investigation

Ismail Omar, Kuala Lumpur’s deputy police chief, confirmed the complaint but said Anwar would not be arrested “at the moment”.

“We will investigate this report first. We will look into it and carry out the necessary steps before issuing any warrant of arrest,” he was reported by the AFP news agency as saying.

The accusation comes 10 years after Anwar was ousted from the government in a power struggle amid accusations of corruption and sodomy.

He was convicted on both charges.

The sodomy conviction was later overturned, but only after he had served six years in jail.

Following his release, he led an alliance of opposition parties to unprecedented gains in elections in March, wresting a third of parliamentary seats and five states from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Since then he has claimed he has the support of enough members of parliament to form a new government.

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