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Malaysian is again accused of sodomy

June 29, 2008|From the Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was accused of sodomizing his male aide, sparking speculation today that he might be arrested on the same charge that led to his imprisonment a decade ago in one of Malaysia's biggest political upheavals.

Anwar, who resurrected his political career after leading the opposition to spectacular gains in recent elections, denied the allegation, which was made in a police complaint filed by the 23-year-old aide.

"The police report lodged against me earlier today is a complete fabrication," Anwar, 60, said in a statement issued early today.

The accusation will have a severe effect on Malaysian politics, which have been thrown into turmoil since the March 8 elections handed the governing National Front coalition its worst-ever result.

Anwar said the sodomy accusation was engineered by "interested parties" to prevent him from exposing the national police chief and the attorney general for their alleged role in having him accused of corruption and sodomizing his driver in 1998.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied government involvement in a political conspiracy against Anwar.

Anwar was convicted on both 1998 charges, but Malaysia's highest court overturned the sodomy conviction and freed him in 2004.

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