Opposition leader faces sodomy charge

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim went on trial Tuesday on sodomy and other charges, his second such trial on similar charges.

Anwar said the ruling National Front is targeting him because it sees his opposition coalition has a political threat. The government has said it is not involved.


Anwar, a former deputy prime minister who could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted, told reporters outside the court his lawyers may subpoena Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, who, he alleged, were involved in efforts to send him to jail, the Financial Times reported.

He said the outside world is concerned about his trial as seen by the presence of diplomatic observers in the court, the report said.

Anwar was arrested last July four months after his opposition coalition parties made major gains in parliamentary elections, CNN reported.

He is accused of sodomizing a 23-year-old year-old aide. The U.S. State Department has expressed concerns over his arrest.

"I don't believe that I'm going to get a fair trial," Anwar told CNN Monday.

He was convicted of sodomy and corruption in 1998 and spent six years in prison before his conviction was overturned. He has denied the most recent charges.

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