Malaysia: Anwar fails to get sodomy trial evidence
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia's top court rejected Friday a bid by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to obtain government evidence that allegedly shows he sodomized a male former aide.
The Federal Court upheld a lower court's verdict that the prosecution was not obligated to provide Anwar with medical reports, camera recordings and other evidence ahead of his trial for sodomy, a crime in this Muslim-majority country that carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years.
The former deputy prime minister was previously charged in 1998 with corruption and sodomizing his former family driver. He was convicted and imprisoned before being freed in 2004 when the Federal Court overturned the sodomy conviction.
Anwar insisted he was framed to prevent him from challenging then-leader Mahathir Mohamad.
Anwar was charged again in August 2008 with sodomizing a 24-year-old male former aide.
Anwar has denounced the charges as a political conspiracy to undermine his three-party opposition alliance, which made massive inroads during March 2008 general elections. Government officials deny plotting against Anwar.
Anwar's lawyer, Sankara Nair, said he made an application to postpone the trial because there is a separate appeal at another court for the case to be struck down before it goes to trial. The High Court will hear the postponement application Tuesday before deciding whether to proceed with hearings.