Malaysian police arrest opposition leader Anwar

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Singapore, Jul 16 (UNI) Malaysian police today arrested former deputy prime minister and de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges.

Lawyer Sankara Nair said the police told his client, Mr Anwar, that he was being arrested for investigations under Section 377C of the Penal Code for alleged "carnal intercourse against the order of nature." The charge follows a 28 June 2008 police report lodged by his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who had alleged that Anwar had sodomised him.

Mr Anwar's wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the current opposition leader in the Malaysian Parliament and head of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), told reporters that she had received a telephone call from her husband from the police car saying he had been arrested.

Mr Anwar had challenged the former aide allegation in a Syariah Court last week.

The vociferous opposition leader had also made a police report on July 1 against Inspector General of Police and Attorney General, alleging that the two had fabricated evidence in the "black eye" investigation in 1999.

IGP Musa Hassan was then an investigating officer of the 1999 case, when Mr Anwar was beaten up by the then IGP Abdul Rahim Noor, causing the black eye.

A-G Abdul Gani Patail led the prosecution in that case.

Mr Anwar had been jailed on sodomy charges 10 years ago, but he cleared his name through appeals on that charge later.

Mr Anwar is expected to stand in a by-election for a parliamentary seat and take charge of the opposition in the house. He had claim enough support from sitting members of parliament to form a new government, ousting the present regime.

Mr Anwar, who leads PKR, had yesterday held a debate with Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek, and had called it "Form the Government Today, Fuel Price Down Tomorrow".

UNI XC NC DS1323

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