Anwar sodomy trial back on

2010-03-25 12:49

Kuala Lumpur - The sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim will resume in May following a three-month interruption after the Malaysian opposition leader tried to force the judge to step down, the High Court said on Thursday.

The politically charged trial has been disrupted since mid-February, when Anwar claimed that Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah was biased against the defence. Mohamad Zabidin denied Anwar's allegation and refused to recuse himself from the case, prompting Anwar's lawyers to turn to a higher court to seek the judge's dismissal.

Anwar dropped the attempt to disqualify the judge last week, hoping to dispel criticism he was delaying the trial. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of sodomising a male former aide - a charge he claims was concocted by the government to cripple his opposition movement. Government authorities deny any conspiracy.

Judge Mohamad Zabidin ruled on Thursday that hearings will resume on May 10 and are expected to continue through the end of August. He scheduled the dates after the defence team said Anwar and his top lawyer, who are both members of Parliament, were involved in legislative sessions.

'Malicious'

The trial began in early February with testimony from Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the 24-year-old man who accused Anwar of forcing him to have anal sex at a condominium in June 2008. Most of Saiful's testimony was recorded behind closed doors because of its graphic nature.

Anwar's lawyers say a medical examination of Saiful conducted after the alleged sodomy showed no conclusive evidence of penetration. Sodomy is an illegal act - even if consensual - in this Muslim-majority country.

Anwar reiterated on Thursday his claim that Prime Minister Najib Razak's administration fabricated the charge to remove him from the political scene and weaken his opposition alliance after it made unprecedented inroads during 2008 elections.

"This is malicious," Anwar told reporters. "It shouldn't have started in the first place. This is wasting public resources and people's time. This is fitting into (the government's) political game."

It is the second time that Anwar, aged 62, has been accused of sodomy. In 1998, he lost his post as then-deputy prime minister and spent six years in jail on convictions for sodomy and abuse of power. Anwar was freed in 2004 when a court overturned the sodomy conviction.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anwar ibrahim  |  najib razak  |  malaysia
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

40% off top appliances!

Save 40% on the top 10 appliances on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save 20% on Camping gear!

Buy 4 camping items and save 20%. While stocks last. Shop now!

Fifty Shades of Grey!

This great read will captivate you from cover to cover and leave you itching for more. Get your copy now!

20% off braai items!

Save 20% when you buy 2 braai items. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are on form and you may like an audience to share your ideas and concepts with. Drama and creativity flavour your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.