Court allows key DNA evidences for Anwar sodomy trial

14:51, March 23, 2011      

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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who faces charges of sodomizing his former aide, was dealt a blow on Wednesday when the Malaysian High Court reversed a ruling and allowed several items bearing Anwar's DNA to be tendered as evidence.

The items -- a toothbrush, a towel and a water bottle -- were retrieved from the cell where Anwar was detained for the alleged sodomy crime.

The ruling is a major boost to the prosecutors as the DNA samples found on the items can be used to prove Anwar having sexual intercourse with the alleged victim.

Anwar, who was also Malaysia's former Deputy Prime Minister had refused to submit his DNA samples for fear that they would be meddled with by investigators.

His defense team had earlier argued that the items retrieved from the cell where Anwar was kept overnight could not be submitted as evidence as the detention was illegal.

But their claim was overthrown by the judge.

Some 100 of Anwar's supporters were outside the court to show solidarity as Anwar exited, chanting slogans and holding banners.

"This is unprecedented," Anwar claims, "because it's a matter of weeks if not days that the judge reverses its earlier decision not to allow evidence taken through unlawful means, trickery and deception."

"But we will deal with it, we remain confident," says Anwar.

Meanwhile, the prosecution's second plea to compel Anwar to surrender his DNA samples was rejected on grounds that there are no provisions in Malaysia's law to support their application.

Anwar is charged with sodomizing his former assistant Mohammad Saiful at a condominium unit in Kuala Lumpur in June, 2008 -- a crime that could see him whipped and jailed for 20 years.

The 63-year-old was dismissed as a deputy prime minister and convicted for sodomy and corruption in 1998.

He was released in September 2004 and resumed his political career as an opposition leader, leading the opposition coalition, the People's Alliance, after the opposition parties swept five states in Malaysia's 2008 election.

Western critics have slammed the second sodomy charge against Anwar as a political plot by the ruling government to quash the opposition coalition.

Source: Xinhua
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