Dec. 15 - Malaysian high court to deliver verdict on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy charge on January 9 next year. Nick Rowlands reports.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arrives at the high court in Kuala Lumpur. He is charged with sodomising a 26-year-old former male aide, and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The judge has now closed the trial, which has dragged on for two years, and set January 9th for the verdict. Anwar's lawyer has questioned the DNA samples used to link him to the incident, as well as the credibility of the accuser, Saiful Bukhari Azlan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANWAR IBRAHIM'S LAWYER, SANKARA NAIR SAYING: "All things an invention by Saiful - that's how we also submitted. And we have given all the necessary evidence, brought in our experts and witnesses who are among the top in the world. And we now leave it to the judge to decide as to who… which of the experts he wants to believe." Anwar says the charge is a political plot to prevent him from winning power at the next polls - and a repeat of a 1998 case in which he was sacked as deputy prime minister and jailed for sodomy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER, ANWAR IBRAHIM SAYING: "Now if they consider this a political option to weaken the resolve of opposition, I am convinced that after the 9th, the opposition will grow even stronger whether Anwar is outside or inside jail." Malaysia's next elections are not due until 2013, but the prime minister is expected to call for an early general election next year before economic growth in the country slows further. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.