Anwar accuser sodomised - doctor

2010-06-03 13:34

Kuala Lumpur - A Malaysian doctor testified on Thursday there was enough medical evidence to prove that the man who accused opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy had engaged in anal sex.

The testimony at Anwar's sodomy trial is a major setback for the defence, which insists that Anwar's former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, had not been sodomised and that the charge was fabricated by the government to cripple Anwar's opposition movement.

Anwar's lawyers have argued that a medical examination of Saiful conducted at a government hospital two days after the alleged sodomy in June 2008 showed no conclusive evidence of penetration.

Sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years in prison in this Muslim-majority country, under a law that criminalises both non-consensual and consensual anal sex.

The High Court heard testimony on Thursday by Mohamad Razali Ibrahim, a surgeon at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, who took swab samples from Saiful's rectum after an initial examination indicated no injuries or scarring linked to anal sex.

Semen traces were found in the samples, Mohamad Razali said, without adding whether they matched Anwar's DNA records.

"With all the reports I have now, there is evidence of penetration, even without clinical injuries," Mohamad Razali said during questioning by government prosecutors. "With the presence of... semen, I would say it is anal penetration."

Mohamad Razali said the lack of injuries was possible because Saiful, aged 24, claimed he used lubricant when Anwar allegedly sodomised him at a condominium.

Conspiracy theory

The doctor is the prosecution's second witness in the trial, which has also heard testimony from Saiful, who claimed he was a victim of Anwar's sexual advances.

Defence lawyers say Anwar, aged 62, has an alibi showing he was not with Saiful at the time of the alleged sodomy.

Anwar insists Prime Minister Najib Razak concocted the charge to remove him from politics after his opposition alliance made unprecedented inroads during 2008 elections and threatened to oust the ruling coalition.

Najib denies any conspiracy, but has acknowledged meeting Saiful shortly before the young man filed a police complaint making the accusations.

It is the second time that Anwar, who is married with six children, has been accused of sodomy.

In 1998, he lost his post as then-deputy prime minister and spent six years in prison on convictions for sodomy and abuse of power. Anwar was freed in 2004 when a court overturned the sodomy conviction.