Man who claims sex attack by Anwar takes lie detector test

In a photo from Dec 9, 2019, Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim’s former research assistant, Mr Muhammed Yusoff Rawther (right), and his lawyer speak to reporters. PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMPUR • A young man who claimed he was sexually assaulted by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim took a polygraph test yesterday at Malaysia's police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Mr Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, 26, volunteered to take the polygraph test to convince people his claims were true, amid a police investigation into the case.

Mr Yusoff, a former aide of Datuk Seri Anwar, 72, was accompanied by his lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

Datuk Haniff said on Monday that Mr Yusoff was willing to take the test to assist police in carrying out a fair and thorough investigation into the allegation.

Mr Yusoff, who lodged a report on Dec 7, worked at a charity founded by Mr Anwar. He accused the former deputy premier of trying to force him to have sex in September last year.

Mr Anwar, who is called the prime-minister-in-waiting by supporters, had his statement recorded last Thursday. Police also went to his house in Bukit Segambut, where the crime allegedly happened, to complete investigations.

Mr Anwar has denied the charge, describing it as "politics at its worst".

He spent nearly a decade in jail on two separate counts of sodomy and for corruption, charges that he and his supporters maintain were aimed at ending his political career. He was first jailed in 1999.

Same-sex acts are illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia and carry penalties of up to 20 years in jail.

Mr Yusoff's claim came amid a spike in infighting in PKR between Mr Anwar and his deputy president Azmin Ali, who was himself under a political cloud after a gay sex video purporting to feature him and a young man was made public.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2019, with the headline Man who claims sex attack by Anwar takes lie detector test. Subscribe