Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Requiem for a recorder'

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Malaysian court jails opposition leader for sodomy

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-07

A Malaysian court sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on Friday after finding the former deputy prime minister guilty of sodomising his aide in 2008.

He bitterly criticised the three judges after the ruling.

“It is a travesty of justice. I would have thought you would have some courage,” he said to the panel.

The ruling sparked an uproar in a courtroom filled with Anwar’s opposition colleagues and supporters, as his wife and three daughters burst into tears.

The appeals court overturned a previous acquittal on the charges, which Anwar and his supporters have always claimed was a campaign by the ruling regime to destroy his political career with false allegations. Anwar led the opposition to its strongest ever performance in the May 2013 general elections.

The maximum punishment for the offence  is a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping. Anwar’s lawyers said they will apply for a stay of execution of the sentence pending an appeal to the country’s Federal Court.

Demonstration by Anwar supporters

Dozens of Anwar supporters demonstrated outside the appeals court in the administrative capital of Putrajaya after the announcement, chanting “Reformasi” (Reform), as a heavy police presence ringed the building.

Anwar, 66, was first charged in 2008 but the country’s High Court cleared him in 2012, citing a lack of evidence.

“This trial was all about knocking Anwar Ibrahim out of politics and the government was prepared to do whatever it took to make that happen,” Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

The government of Prime Minister Najib Razak has previously denied such allegations.

The ruling triggered condemnation on social media by supporters of Anwar’s party, many of whom called for street protests.

The timing of the long-delayed appeal decision has raised concerns, coming just as Anwar planned to contest a by-election in the key central state of Selangor, close to the capital, on March 23.

He was expected to win and subsequently be made the leader of the state, Malaysia’s richest, which would have boosted his power and the position of the opposition.

But the conviction, if it stands, will disqualify him from standing.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

Date created : 2014-03-07

  • MALAYSIA

    Thousands rally against polls results in Kuala Lumpur

    Read more

  • MALAYSIA

    Malaysia coalition retains power after close election

    Read more

  • MALAYSIA

    Malaysia in historic vote as jailed icon takes on govt

    Read more

COMMENT(S)