MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A Malaysian court acquitted on Monday, January 9, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of the second sodomy charges filed against him.
Malaysiakini.com reported his acquitall on Twitter. (For updates, follow @malaysiakini.com and @anwaribrahim on Twitter.)
The court erupted in cheers after the verdict was declared.
Lawyer Harry Roque, who is with Anwar, said the court acquittted him due to “uncorroborated evidence” against him. “Acquitted! Uncorroborated evidence since DNA excluded,” he said in a text message to Rappler.
Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia.
Anwar told his cheering supporters: “In the coming election, the voice of the people will be heard and this corrupt government will be toppled from its pedestals of power.”
A conviction could have prevented Anwar from running for parliament in the June 2013 national election.
Anwar faced similar charges in 1998 after he was sacked by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. He was jailed but released in 2004.
Anwar has visited Manila several times. Political activists and human rights lawyers in the Philippines have supported his cause. – Rappler.com