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Malaysian opposition leader slams prosecutor selection in sodomy appeal


20:16, July 22, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian opposition Anwar Ibrahim has slammed the selection of a public prosecutor in the appeal against the acquittal of his sodomy charges.

The public prosecutors filed an appeal after a Kuala Lumpur high court on January last year acquitted Anwar for allegedly sodomizing his former aid Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008, citing that the evidences were compromised.

The Court of Appeal on Monday adjourned the prosecution's appeal as Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh, another opposition leader, was hospitalized.

Anwar questioned the decision by the Attorney-General's Chambers to choose senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who has been involved in cases against the opposition leader, as a member of the public prosecution team.

Anwar's lawyers said they will file a formal application to disqualify Muhammad Shafee.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Shafee said he considered the appointment as public service and would carry out his duties properly.

Anwar insisted that the charge was politically motivated and the appeal should not be filed in the first place.

Sodomy, consensual or not, is a serious crime in Muslim- majority Malaysia.

The 65-year-old Anwar was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998 and subsequently jailed for corruption and sodomy charges. He returned to politics as opposition leader after release, challenging the ruling coalition in two general elections in 2008 and May this year.

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