Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    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)