Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been acquitted of sodomy after a two-year trial. The ruling came as hundreds of Mr Anwar’s supporters waited outside the court in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Anwar, 64, has consistently denied the charges and called them a government bid to cripple his political ambitions and influence. He was jailed for sodomy in 1999 but the conviction was overturned. Sodomy is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Mr Anwar had been accused of having sex with a former male aide. He had faced up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. But the judge ruled that the DNA evidence submitted by the prosecution was unreliable. “The court is always reluctant to convict on sexual offences without corroborative evidence. Therefore, the accused is acquitted and discharged,” Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah said. Mr Anwar welcomed the verdict. Mr Anwar had said he was “prepared for the worst” ahead of the verdict in the Malaysia capital “Thank God justice has prevailed,” he told journalists. “I have been vindicated. To be honest, I am a little surprised.” The allegations against Mr Anwar surfaced just months after elections in 2008, in which he led the opposition to unprecedented gains at the expense of the ruling party. This verdict comes ahead of elections widely expected later this year. Hundreds of police and security personnel were on the streets of Kuala Lumpur ahead of the verdict.
Previous posts have discussed Ibrahim’s 2008 arrest on the sodomy charges in a seeming repeat of the events of 1998.
Anwar Ibrahim has many known ties to the global U.S Muslim Brotherhood including helping to found the International Institute of Islamic Thought IIIT) where he currently serves as a director, serving as a trustee for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and appearances at numerous Brotherhood-linked conferences. As noted in a previous post, Ibrahim was scheduled to speak at a conference in Istanbul that featured a large number of prominent speakers with ties to the global Brotherhood. Another recent post also discussed Ibrahim’s appearance at a Saudi economic forum. Media coverage on Ibrahim generally ignores this history which may be explained by a recent article from the Malaysian media on how Ibrahim has reinvented himself.