The leader of Malaysia’s opposition party, Anwar Ibrahim, has gone on trial for sodomy in Kuala Lumpur after his DNA was found on the male aide making allegations of rape. “Mr Anwar has consistently denied the allegations, calling them a conspiracy aimed at breaking his increasingly strong political movement. Homosexual acts are illegal in Malaysia, and Mr Anwar faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. This is not the first time the charismatic opposition leader – who was once the deputy prime minister until his sudden sacking in 1998 – has faced a sodomy claim. He served six years after an earlier conviction, which was subsequently overturned on appeal. After his release he led the opposition to election gains in 2008. He represents a major challenge to Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose coalition has held power for more than 50 years.”
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