Three blasts after Malaysian court acquits Anwar


    Kuala Lumpur, (IANS) At least two people were injured in three explosions near Kuala Lumpur High Court Monday, shortly after opposition leader and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was found not guilty in the sodomy case.

    The explosions occurred near the Kuala Lumpur High Court, where a judge acquitted Anwar of sodomy charge for lack of sufficient evidence, capping a nearly two-year trial, Xinhua reported.

    The 64-year-old was charged with sodomising his 26-year-old former assistant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at a condominium unit in Kuala Lumpur in June 2008.

    Delivering the verdict, Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah said the evidence was compromised and the container supposedly holding Anwar’s DNA was disputable.

    The court could not convict Anwar based on uncorroborated evidence in a criminal offence, the judge added.

    Thousands of people rallied outside the court to show support for Anwar Ibrahim ahead of the verdict. They raised slogans and held pro-Anwar placards as the opposition leader arrived at the court, accompanied by his family, including his wife and six children.

    Reacting over the verdict, Anwar said: “I am grateful for the verdict.”

    “However, it is too early to celebrate because the prosecution may appeal the decision. Nonetheless, I will fight on against the injustice and the system that suppresses the people,” he added.

    The trial had started Feb 3, 2010, and Anwar repeatedly said that the charge had been set up to devastate his political career.

    Prime Minister Najib Razak denied the claims.

    Anwar was appointed deputy prime minister in 1993, but was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison on corruption charges in 1999 and to nine more years on sodomy charges in 2000. He was released in 2004 after the charges were reviewed.

    This was the second time Anwar was charged with sodomy. In the March 2008 elections, he forged an opposition alliance that won 88 seats in parliament and wrested control of four states, but was again charged with sodomy that year.

    Reacting over the court’s latest decision, Malaysia’s Information Minister Rais Yatim said: “The Malaysia judiciary has spoken. It has been heard and we must respect the decision. The verdict of a case such as the one we encountered is a testy decision.”

    Deputy public prosecutor Noreen Badaruddin has said her team would consult the attorney general.