Malaysia opposition leader files complaint over WikiLeaks sodomy cable

[JURIST] Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Monday filed a complaint in a Malaysian court over a WikiLeaks [website] cable published by Australian newspapers stating he had engaged in sodomy. The leaked US diplomatic cable claimed Australia's Office of National Assessments [official website] had concluded, in agreement with Singapore's Intelligence Agency, that the sodomy charges against Ibrahim were the result of a set-up, but that he was in fact guilty of committing the acts [Malaysian Star report] for which he has been indicted. Anwar is charged with sodomizing his former aide Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008, and the trial is currently ongoing. His lawyers have called for the Malaysian media sources that have published the claims to be charged with contempt and say the reports are based on hearsay and cannot be trusted. Anwar has continued to describe the charges as a farce aimed at preventing him from taking his seat in parliament following the gains made by his party in the 2008 elections.

Last month, the Federal Court of Malaysia [official website], the country's highest court, rejected a defamation suit [JURIST report] filed by Anwar against former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad [BBC profile]. Anwar filed suit in 2006 after Mahathir allegedly suggested at a human rights conference that Anwar was unfit for office because of his supposed homosexuality. In September, the Malaysian Court of Appeals [official website] dismissed Anwar's appeal of the Kuala Lumpur High Court's refusal to throw out the sodomy charges [JURIST reports] against him based on allegations that his accuser had an affair with the prosecutor. A three-man panel ruled that, under Section 3 of the Court of Judicature Act (CJA) [materials, text], the appeals court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal because the High Court's ruling was not a final decision. Counsel for Anwar was to appeal to Malaysia's highest court, which will further delay his trial [JURIST report]. This was his second attempt to have the sodomy charge against him dismissed [JURIST report].

 

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