KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's jailed former opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, will file a new legal challenge to set aside his conviction for sodomy, citing fraud as grounds.
His counsel, Mr N. Surendran, said he will file the new civil claim at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday. "Anwar will seek to set aside the conviction for sodomy and (secure) an order for his immediate release," he told The Star.
Anwar, 69, leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, was convicted in 2014 of sodomising his former aide, Mr Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 32, on June 26, 2008. He was sentenced to five years in jail.
This new legal challenge will be the latest in a series of attempts by Anwar to overturn his conviction, which he claims was politically motivated.
His imprisonment came on the heels of significant electoral gains in 2013 by the opposition coalition, which he led.
Last December, he lost his bid for an acquittal when the Federal Court, the highest court in Malaysia, rejected his appeal to set aside his sodomy conviction and five-year jail term. He had tried to get a fresh panel of judges to review his conviction, on the grounds of injustice, but his application was refused by the apex court.
While he is expected to be released by 2020, after serving his sentence, the conviction disqualifies him from political office and from contesting the country's next general election that must be held by August 2018.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK