Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Acquitted In Sodomy Trial

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 9: Malaysian High Court today acquitted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy charges by his former aide after a two-year trial, a verdict likely to strengthen his alliance ahead of the general
malaysian opposition leader anwar acquitted in...
PTI 09 Jan 2012, 12:03 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 9: Malaysian High Court today acquitted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy charges by his former aide after a two-year trial, a verdict likely to strengthen his alliance ahead of the general elections. 

High Court Judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah took just three minutes to deliver his most awaited judgment to a packed court house and found him not guilty of sodomising his former aide 26-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari. 

The Judge said there were no collaborating evidence to support Saiful's testimony, citing unreliable DNA evidence. 

“The court cannot be 100 per cent certain that DNA was not contaminated,” the judge said.

“And because it was a sexual offence, the court is reluctant to convict on uncorroborated evidence,” he said. 

However, there is no written judgment. 

A crowd of 64-year-old Anwar's supporters shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” after the judge finished reading the verdict. Anwar immediately hugged his children who were crying over the verdict.

He also shook hands with the prosecutors.

 “Thank God justice has prevailed,” a jubilant Anwar said.  “I have been vindicated. To be honest, I am a little surprised... My focus now will be at the coming elections.”

The verdict comes ahead of elections due in 2013 but widely expected to be called later this year. 

The allegations against Anwar surfaced just months after elections in 2008, in which he led the opposition to unprecedented gains at the expense of the ruling coalition.

 The trial has riveted Malaysia and sparked charges of a government set-up to cripple the Anwar-led opposition. It is the second sodomy verdict in a dozen years for Anwar.

 
   
 

More from world