Anwar's sodomy accuser Saiful Azlan says he just wanted justice

The man who accused Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy says he just wanted "justice" and that it is not his wish to see the veteran politician behind bars.

"All I wanted was for my allegations to be investigated and to let justice take its course. Punishment is beyond me," said Mr Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 30, in a telephone interview with The Star published on Wednesday.

"That is why I refrained from using the word 'grateful'. Saying that I am grateful for the decision could be misconstrued to mean I am happy to see Anwar jailed. We should not be grateful for another person's misery."

Mr Saiful's claim that he was sodomised in a luxury condominium in Kuala Lumpur in 2008 had triggered a seven-year long trial which culminated in Anwar being sent to jail for five years on Tuesday (Feb 10).

Anwar, 67, denies sodomising his former aide, and maintains that the charges were politically motivated. The sodomy charge came just months after he led the opposition to record victories in Malaysia's general election in 2008.

In the intervening years, Mr Saiful has taken religious oaths that he was telling the truth about Anwar, including one he claimed he took before the Kaaba in Mecca in 2012.

In 2013, he married former TV3 newscaster Nik Suryani Megat Deraman, who is four years older, at a ceremony with about 100 guests. His wife was in an all-white dress sponsored by local designer Zang Toi.

Ms Suryani told The Star it was tough making a living after incriminating an influential politician in an apparent reference to her husband, although she stopped short of hitting back at Anwar's supporters. It is not clear what work Mr Saiful is doing now, but the couple now have a seven-month-old baby and Ms Suryani said the court's decision proves that her husband has been telling the truth.

Said Mr Saiful: "This (decision) means a lot to a small fry like me who had to take on such a powerful figure to seek justice."

chengwee@sph.com.sg