Thursday 7 August 2008

Anwar Ibrahim Charged with Sodomy, and Released on Bail

News agencies have reported:-

Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was charged with sodomy at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur this morning, a move that may perhaps damage his chances of a political comeback.

Anwar pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to the charge of committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature with his former aide, Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23 years of age.

Sessions court judge SM Komathy Suppiah set 10th September 2008 as the date for mention of the case.

Anwar, 61 years old, allegedly committed the offence at unit 11-5-1 Desa Damansara Condominium, No 99, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on 26th June 2008

The charge was made under section 377B of the Penal Code, it carries a maximum 20 years jail and whipping upon conviction.

Anwar was released on a personal bond of RM 20,000 which will allow him to contest the upcoming Permatang Pauh by-election on 26th August 2008.

The opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat said in a statement that it would formally propose him as their leader if he won the Permatang Pauh by-election.

"I feel good, thank God," Anwar reportedly had said to a Reuters reporter after the court decision.

The Jalan Duta court complex was surrounded by about 300 policemen, some in riot gear, many roadblocks were set up in Kuala Lumpur, apparently to prevent a possible repeat of protests involving thousands of people staged 10 years ago when Anwar faced similar charges. The roadblocks caused the public to be intimidated, inconvenienced and delayed in massive jams starting from before 07:00.

More than one hundred supporters shouting "reformation" and "long live Anwar" gathered outside the court complex.

A guilty verdict would effectively end the political career of Anwar Ibrahim, a man who has long aimed to play a decisive role in Malaysian politics and who was only allowed back into politics in April after his release from prison in 2004.

Seats in the sessions court room were limited to only one reporter from each news media / news agency and only the chosen reporters were allowed to enter the courtroom.

Commune periculum concordiam parit

- Common danger brings forth harmony

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