Malaysia opposition leader releases medical report disputing sodomy charges Mike Rosen-Molina at 12:25 PM ET
[JURIST] Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] released a medical report [PDF text and explanation] Tuesday that he said refuted sodomy allegations [JURIST report] made against him by a former aide. According to the report, the initial examining doctor at a private hospital could not find evidence of sexual assault, but advised the aide to undergo a second examination at a government hospital. Under Malaysian law, courts will only consider medical evidence of rape or sodomy if certified by a government doctor [Malaysiakini report]. Anwar responded [personal blog post] to the report:
I have willingly cooperated in the police investigations; careless and vindictive though it has turned out to be. But I have decided that nation is in a grave situation economically and socially and I can no longer be distracted by such nuisances. I am now determined to move ahead with the reform agenda, which the Malaysian people endorse in the last elections, and I do not intend to address this scurrilous accusations anymore [sic].
Malaysian authorities briefly arrested Anwar earlier this month, less than a day after a warrant was issued for his arrest [JURIST reports]. Anwar has claimed that the sodomy allegations leveled against him are politically motivated, and filed a lawsuit against his accuser [JURIST report] in late June. Under Malaysian law, sodomy is punishable by 20 years in prison regardless of consent. Anwar was Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister under former Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad [BBC profile] until he was fired in 1998 following earlier sodomy charges of which he was initially convicted but later acquitted. He only recently reentered Malaysian politics following the expiration of a ten-year ban [JURIST report] against him for unrelated corruption charges. Last month the Federal Court of Malaysia ruled he could challenge the constitutionality [JURIST report] of his original dismissal from office.
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