Prosecution says Malaysia's Anwar can be convicted

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2011 4:28 AM
Prosecution says Malaysia's Anwar can be convicted

Prosecutors wrapped up their closing arguments in the sodomy trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday, saying there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt to convict him.

Anwar faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of sodomizing a 26-year-old male former aide. A conviction could also prevent him from running in national elections widely expected next year.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied Anwar's allegation that the government cooked up the charge to crush his political career.

Government prosecutor Yusof Zainal Abiden told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Anwar had failed to adequately dispute DNA evidence and claims by the prosecution that he was present at a condominium where the incident allegedly occurred in June 2008.

Anwar's former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, has testified that Anwar forced him to have sex in an apartment. Prosecutors presented DNA samples from semen found on Saiful's body that allegedly matched Anwar's.

Yusof rejected the defense's insistence that the DNA samples could have been illegally obtained from Anwar and planted on Saiful, and that the samples had been mishandled during the process of gathering evidence.

"The offense of carnal intercourse against the order of nature committed by (Anwar) has been proven beyond reasonable doubt," Yusof said. "We urge (the court) to find him guilty as charged."

Hearings are expected to conclude Thursday with final statements from the defense.

Anwar's lawyers have called Saiful a liar, saying it was unimaginable that he did not attempt to flee Anwar's alleged advances.

The defense also says Anwar, 64, has back problems that would have prevented him from committing the act as Saiful had described. Yusof said a government doctor who examined Anwar disagreed.

Anwar, a married father of six children, was charged with sodomizing Saiful soon after the opposition clinched control of several Malaysian states in 2008 general elections. He claimed the government was trying a second time to ruin him through sex charges.

Anwar lost his post as deputy prime minister in 1998 after being charged with sodomizing his family's ex-driver and abusing his power to cover up his actions _ both of which he denied. Malaysia's top court quashed the sodomy conviction and released him in 2004.