[JURIST] Malaysian law enforcement authorities have launched an investigation into a new sodomy complaint against opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] filed by an aide Saturday. Under Malaysian lawyer sodomy is punishable by 20 years in prison regardless of whether or not it was consensual. Anwar was convicted for sodomy in 1999 in the midst of political scandal before an appellate court overturned his conviction and sentence in 2004. Asserting his innocence of the latest allegations in a statement [text] on his blog Sunday, Anwar wrote:
The police report lodged against me…is a complete fabrication. I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress. This is clearly a desperate attempt by the Barisan Nasional regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice.
The report has been organized by interested parties to attack me in retaliation for evidence I have recently obtained implicating IGP [Inspector General of Police] Musa Hassan and the AG [Attorney General] Gani Patail in misconduct including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against me in 1998-1999. This vile attack will not prevent me from releasing this dossier to the public.
Fearing for his life, however, Anwar later took refuge
[Anwar blog post] in the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Anwar was Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister under Mahathir bin Mohamad until he was fired in 1998 as the scandal over his alleged conduct erupted. He later insisted that the charges were brought against him for political reasons due to a falling out with Mahathir. He only recently reentered Malaysian politics following the expiration of a ten-year ban [JURIST report] imposed after his original convictions for sodomy and corruption. The corruption conviction was never overturned. Earlier this month the Federal Court of Malaysia ruled he could challenge the constitutionality [JURIST report] of his original dismissal from office. AP has more. From Kuala Lumpur, the Star has local coverage.