Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Malaysia's Anwar says medical report makes lie of sodomy charges

Agence France-Presse - 7/29/2008 6:10 AM GMT
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim demanded Tuesday that police drop a sodomy investigation against him, producing a medical report he said showed no assault had taken place.
Anwar reiterated that the allegations by a young male aide, a repeat of charges that saw him jailed a decade ago, have been fabricated to disrupt his plans to seize power from the coalition that has ruled here for half a century.
"The hospital report leaked yesterday confirms our contention that the allegations levelled against me are baseless and politically motivated," he told a press conference.
"The complainant is an outright liar working hand in glove with those in power to assassinate my character and attempt to derail the people's aspirations for transformational change in Malaysia."
Anwar did not say how he had obtained the June 28 report, which has also been circulating on political websites, but said it showed there was no evidence that his accuser, Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, had been sodomised.
"Police should stop this investigation. With this evidence, this is an end to it."
The police were not immediately able to comment on the claims, but they have denied reports that the doctor who prepared the report had been arrested.
Mohamad Saiful, 23, who was a volunteer at Anwar's office, said he was sexually assaulted at a luxury condo and is now under police protection.
The opposition leader was arrested earlier this month and spent a night in custody before being released on police bail.
Anwar called on the police to drop the investigation which he said was harming Malaysia's reputation and economic prospects.
"I condemn in the strongest terms their negligence, dishonesty and recklessness in humiliating the nation by dragging us all through this vile and filthy charade."
"At a time when the world economy is spiralling into recession and Malaysia has struggled to remain competitive, this scandal was raised at the worst possible moment," he said.
"The international community has expressed its disdain for what is happening and that will translate to less foreign investment, less tourism and an even weaker economy."
Anwar, a former deputy premier who was sacked in 1998 before being jailed on sodomy and corruption charges, has said he plans to return to parliament later this year if a court orders a by-election near his home town.
The original sodomy conviction was overturned by the nation's highest court in 2004, but the corruption count still stands and prevented him from taking public office until a few months ago.

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