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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

BBC > Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim set free

The jailed former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, will be set free, after the country's highest court overturned his sodomy conviction.
The decision came six years to the day after his dramatic sacking by Malaysia's then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohammed.
He was imprisoned in 1999 and had lost earlier appeal against his conviction.
He is now expected to travel to Germany to receive treatment for a back injury he says he suffered when arrested.
The country's former police chief was responsible for a beating he received when first arrested in September 1998, Anwar says.
"He is free to go, there is no doubt it," said his lawyer Pawancheek Marican when the verdict was announced.
He is expected to leave custody later on Thursday.

Anwar was jailed in 1999 for corruption after a trial widely seen as politically motivated. It followed his disagreement with Mahathir Mohammad over how to run the country's economy.
In 2000, he received a further nine years for sodomy.
Anwar had already failed to reverse the first of those convictions.
Thursday's appeal to Malaysia's Federal Court - the country's highest - was the last legal opening for the former minister.
The court was reviewing an earlier rejection of Anwar's appeal - but decided to quash the original conviction by a vote of 2-1.
"We allow the sentence and conviction to be set aside. We find the High Court misdirected itself. He should have been acquitted," said Judge Abdul Hamid Mohamad, head of a three-judge panel.
The BBC's Jonathan Kent in Kuala Lumpur says Anwar's continued imprisonment had posed problems for the government of current Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.
Although his star has waned since the days when thousands marched in protest at his treatment, many in Malaysia and abroad still regarded him as a political prisoner.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go /pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia -pacific/3619790.stm




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