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Malaysia: 'Overwhelming evidence' sees Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction upheld

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Malaysia: 'Overwhelming evidence' sees Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction upheld

<p>Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s main opposition leader, has had his appeal against a sodomy conviction rejected.</p> <p>In March 2014 an earlier acquittal was overturned and Anwar was jailed for five years on charges of having sex with a male aide.</p> <p>He has always denied the accusation, but on Tuesday (February 10), Malaysia’s top court upheld both the conviction and original sentence.</p> <p>Outside the court protesters gathered in support of the former Deputy Prime Minister.</p> <p>Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia, although few people are ever prosecuted, and Anwar and his supporters claim the decision to jail him is political. </p> <p>“I am innocent,” he said before the ruling. “Now, in the event there’s a political decision to put me in jail, I understand the system, I’ve served time in prison… But then this is a price I have to pay.”</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>In bowing to the political powers, you have effectively murdered the judiciary. You chose to remain on the dark side.</p>— Anwar Ibrahim (@anwaribrahim) <a href="https://twitter.com/anwaribrahim/status/565022317244583936">February 10, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>Upholding the conviction, Judge Arifin Zakat cited “overwhelming evidence” against Anwar.</p> <p>The popular politician is widely considered the only real challenge to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling coalition.</p> <p>It’s the second time the opposition leader has been found guilty of sodomy since his dismissal from government in 1998.</p> <p>His earlier conviction in 2000 was overturned.</p>