Thursday, July 17, 2008

I am a victim of 'vendetta': Anwar

Malaysia's Anwar says victim of 'vendetta'
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Thursday he was the victim of a "vendetta", after being held overnight on sodomy accusations levelled by a young male aide.
Anwar, who was released on bail, said he was treated like a "major criminal" and needed medical treatment after a night in a bare cell at Kuala Lumpur police headquarters which aggravated a back injury.
"Dumped in a cell to sleep on a cold cement floor with nothing... that has exacerbated the pain," said Anwar, who was arrested Wednesday by a team of police commandos.
"I don't deserve this -- no Malaysian deserves this. Why treat me like a major criminal?" he told a press conference, adding that he was subjected to an examination which included the measuring of his genitals.
"They have seen all my private parts. Of course I refused to be photographed, it could be on YouTube very soon! You mean I can trust the system?"
Anwar rejected the allegations levelled by 23-year-old aide Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan as another conspiracy, following the events of 1998 when he was sacked as deputy premier and jailed on sodomy and corruption counts.
"It appears that the events of the last few days, the nature of my unwarranted arrest, my overnight incarceration which was actually absolutely unnecessary, were an act of personal vengeance against me," he said.
"They should not use this as a personal vendetta against me."
Anwar said he was being targeted because of allegations he has made against the attorney-general and chief of police over his treatment during his original trial.
He has lodged a police report accusing them of manipulating evidence in an investigation into the severe beating he received when he was in police custody at the time.
The 60-year-old opposition leader defended his decision not to give a DNA sample during Wednesday's examination, saying he had no faith in the system after fabricated DNA evidence was used against him in his trial a decade ago.
"My decision to refuse a DNA test is taken through advice of my lawyers and DNA experts," he said.
And he criticised the decision to arrest him, when he had agreed to face police interrogation at a meeting scheduled just an hour after he was picked up by police.
"I am disappointed with the way the police have handled this whole situation," he said.

Related Stories:
Japan to inquire about Anwar's arrest
US expresses 'serious concern' over Anwar arrest

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