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Malaysia appeal court finds Anwar guilty of sodomy

Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian court on Friday sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on sodomy charges, overturning an earlier acquittal and throwing his political career into jeopardy.An angry Anwar vowed to

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk Updated on: March 08, 2014 8:41 IST
"Therefore, to respect the legal process and the rights of those involved, it would be inappropriate for the government to comment further," it said.

Friday's verdict is the latest development in a long-running legal campaign against Anwar, who has maintained that the sodomy charges were trumped up.

Anwar previously was imprisoned for six years after being ousted as deputy prime minister in 1998 on earlier charges of sodomizing his former family driver and abusing his power. He was freed in 2004 after Malaysia's top court quashed that sodomy conviction.

Since then, he has led a three-party alliance to unprecedented gains in 2008 elections and made further inroads in 2013 polls. Najib's National Front coalition won with a slimmer majority and lost the popular vote to the opposition.

"This trial was all about knocking Anwar Ibrahim out of politics, pure and simple, and the government was prepared to jump through whatever hoops were necessary to make that happen," said Phil Robertson of the New York-based group Human Rights Watch.

"It's a dark day for the Malaysia judiciary, which has shown today how hard it is to get a free and fair trial when political issues are in play."

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