Coming up

Don't miss




Fashion, what's happened in 2014

Read more


France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more


The Future of the Book

Read more


The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more


France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more


'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more


France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more


'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more


Malaysian court jails opposition leader for sodomy


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.


Date created : 2014-03-07


    Thousands rally against polls results in Kuala Lumpur

    Read more


    Malaysia coalition retains power after close election

    Read more


    Malaysia in historic vote as jailed icon takes on govt

    Read more