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  • Anwar Ibrahim is finally set free

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on September 3rd, 2004 (All posts by )

    In 1998 the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamed sacked his Deputy Anwar Ibrahim and had him jailed and convicted on trumped-up charges. Now that Mohamed now longer is the power in the land, Malaysian courts finally acknowledge that there was no case against Anwar in the first place:

    Malaysian former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has been set free from jail after the country’s highest court overturned his sodomy conviction.

    The decision came six years to the day after his mentor-turned-rival, former leader Mahathir Mohammed, sacked him following a row over the economy.

    Mr Anwar has always argued that charges against him were politically motivated.

    His original trials had been widely condemned as flawed and Malaysia’s federal court accepted that his sodomy conviction was unsafe.

    The court was reviewing an earlier rejection of Mr Anwar’s appeal – but decided to quash the original conviction by a vote of 2-1.

    “We allow the sentence and conviction to be set aside. We find the High Court misdirected itself. He should have been acquitted,” said Judge Abdul Hamid Mohamad, head of a three-judge panel.

    In reviewing the evidence, the court decided the prosecution’s key witness was unreliable and in effect an accomplice.

    The court also concluded that Mr Anwar’s co-accused did not appear to have confessed voluntarily, and expressed concern that the police had been heavy-handed.

    The judges therefore concluded that Mr Anwar should have been acquitted without having to enter a defence as the prosecution had not managed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

    I posted about Mahatir Mohamed before: A moderate in his own special way

    And by the standards of Muslim heads of government he was, Anwar is still alive.