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Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim convicted of sodomy

Published on Mar 7, 2014 5:23 PM
 
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (right) and his wife Wan Azizah (left) arrive at the court of appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 6, 2014. Mr Anwar lost in the appeal against his 2012 acquittal for sodomy, in a decision that may disqualify him from his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, and also put him out of the running for the Kajang by-election to be held soon. -- PHOTO: AFP

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim lost in the appeal against his 2012 acquittal for sodomy, in a decision that may disqualify him from his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, and also put him out of the running for the Kajang by-election to be held soon.

The law states that any MP or assemblyman who is jailed a year or fined RM2,000 is disqualified from holding the seat.

The Court of Appeal, which handed down the verdict on Friday, is slated to hear his lawyer's arguments in mitigation at 6:15pm and to hand down the sentence.

Mr Anwar had planned to contest the Kajang by-election which was called after a PKR assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh resigned to make way for him.

It is widely seen as a move to enable Mr Anwar to take over as Selangor menteri besar to replace the incumbent Khalid Ibrahim who is seen as too much of a lone-ranger administrator.

The hearing of the appeal, held just five days before nomination day for the Kajang by-election next Tuesday, had got his opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat crying foul.

Polling is on March 23.

It is learnt that the PKR has several alternative candidates lined up. Its strategic director and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli is likely to be the replacement.

Mr Anwar was acquitted by the High Court in 2012 of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in a posh condominium in 2008, on the grounds that the DNA evidence provided by the prosecution was tainted.

The prosecution appealed against the acquittal.

lestkong@sph.com.sg

 

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