Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arrested

July 16th, 2008 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  


Kuala Lumpur, July 16 (IANS) Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was Wednesday arrested for questioning by police, giving a fresh twist to the political controversy over the sodomy charge against him. His car was stopped and he was picked up at 1 p.m., an hour before the deadline police had given him to show up for interrogation in the case.

Ibrahim was on his way back after appearing before the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in a related case - where he had charged Attorney General Abdjul Gani Patail and the Police chief Inspector General Musa Hasan with fabricating evidence against him - NST Online said.

On June 28, his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had lodged a police report alleging that Ibrahim had sodomised him.

Almost three weeks later, he was Wednesday taken into a police Mitsubishi Pajero where he was seen with his face covered with a cloth and flanked by two policemen in balaclavas, the website of the New Straits Times added.

His lawyer Sankara Nair said police told Ibrahim that he was being arrested for investigations under Section 377 C of the Penal Code for alleged “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”.

Asked if the leader of the PKR party was handcuffed, Nair said he was not.

Anwar’s wife and opposition leader in parliament Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said he had called her from the police car to say he had been arrested.

“He asked me to go home to look after the children,” she told media gathered in the parliament lobby.

For Ibrahim, this is a repeat of his travails 10 years ago when he was charged with sodomy and sacked as deputy prime minister by then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

He was prosecuted and jailed. A court later acquitted him.

Ibrahim heads the opposition alliance that has 82 members in parliament and controls five of the eight states. He has been threatening to pull down the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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