Anwar accused Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of orchestrating the prosecution to destroy his political comeback, adding that he would hold Abdullah “personally responsible” for political turmoil that could result from a trial.
Police went to Anwar’s home and served an order for him to appear Thursday morning in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to face the charge.
It will be the second time in a decade that the former deputy prime minister has been charged with sodomy, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Sodomy is illegal even among consenting adults in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
A 23-year-old male aide claimed Anwar had sodomized him in June. Anwar insists the allegation was fabricated to thwart his plan of seizing power from the government by mid-September. The government denies a conspiracy.
If the court refuses to release Anwar on bail pending a trial, it would prevent him from campaigning in the Aug. 26 by-election for a parliamentary seat that his wife vacated last week. Anwar would still be allowed to contest the seat. […]
Anwar said he believed that Abdullah and other government and police officials have pressed for him to be prosecuted despite what he said was a lack of evidence.
Abdullah is “a man under siege, and he sees no way out but to deflect the attention of the Malaysian people with a sham trial against me,” Anwar said. “He is burning the forest to save his own tree.”