US media is reporting that Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim, a leader in the Global Muslim Brotherhood, has had his conviction for sodomy upheld by Malaysia’s top court. According to a USA Today report:
February 10, 2015 Malaysia’s top court on Tuesday upheld a conviction for sodomy in a controversial case involving opposition leader and onetime Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar, 67, whose conviction some observers believe is politically motivated to keep him from power, started serving a five-year sentence for having sex with a former political aide in 2008. Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, and punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Few prosecutions are brought.
Anwar has always denied the charge and was acquitted in 2012, but an appeals court overturned the verdict last March. His final appeal failed Tuesday after Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria said there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ that the male aide had been sodomized.
From the dock, Anwar accused the panel of judges of taking part in a ‘political conspiracy’ by Malaysia’s ruling regime. ‘In bowing to the dictates of your political masters, you have become partners to the crime,’ and ‘chosen to be on the dark side,’ he said, Agence France-Presse reported. ‘I will not be silenced! I will never surrender!’ he shouted.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s office quickly defended the verdict.
‘Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures,’ it said in a statement. ‘Exhaustive and comprehensive due process’ is now complete, and ‘we call on all parties involved to respect the legal process and the judgment.'”
Flanked by his wife, children and grandchildren, Anwar arrived smiling and laughing at the court in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s federal administrative center close to the capital Kuala Lumpur. After the verdict, he hugged his weeping wife, Wan Azizah, consoled other relatives and told reporters “see you in some years.” Hundreds of his supporters protested outside.
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Anwar Ibrahim is a Malaysian politician and leader of the opposition PKE Party (People’s Justice Party). Ibrahim was a Deputy Prime Minister in Malaysia under Mahathir bin Mohamad but following increasingly discord between the two men, Ibrahim was accused and convicted of sodomy in 1998 and was jailed until the verdict was over turned in 2004 and he was released from prison. He was re-arrested on the same charges in 2008 but acquitted in 2012 after a two-year trial. 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. In 2011, he was a participant in the 2011 U.S.-Islamic World Forum, held in the US for the first time and which included a large number of individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood as well as their supporters. Media coverage on Ibrahim generally ignores this history which may be explained by a 2008 article from the Malaysian media on how Ibrahim has reinvented himself. In October 2013, the GMBDW reported that Ibrahim and former Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric had visited Pope Francis where they were said to have discussed religious persecution.