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M'sia's Anwar to meet police, anti-graft officials
Wed, Jul 16, 2008
Reuters

Putrajaya (Malaysia) - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prepared to meet police and anti-corruption agency officials on Wednesday, gearing up to battle sodomy charges that could eventually crush his movement.

Replaying scenes from a decade ago where his rise was snuffed out when he was jailed for sodomy and corruption, the ex-deputy premier is fighting a sodomy complaint by a former aide as he leads a charge by the opposition to seize power by September.

A smiling Anwar, accompanied by lawyers, arrived at the anti-corruption agency to give a statement alleging the attorney-general and police chief fabricated evidence in his assault case a decade ago.

He is due to meet police later in the day to give his statement on the sodomy case, failing which the authorities have warned they would arrest him.

The prospect of Mr Anwar's arrest is likely to spark more tremors in financial markets, which have groaned under the weight of a protracted political drama which includes allegations of sex and murder against the government.

The stock market was down 0.14 per cent to 1,126.06 points in early trade.

Mr Anwar's supporters have cast the sodomy allegation as an attempt by premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government to prevent the opposition from gaining ground.

'My fate is to be decided in one or two days' time,' Mr Anwar had said during a debate on fuel prices late on Tuesday.

Mr Abdullah's Barisan Nasional coalition is still trying to recover from a disastrous showing in a March general election, where it lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceded five states to the opposition.

Mr Anwar was barred from standing in that election, but hopes a resurgent opposition can force a new vote for which he will be eligible.

Public anger against rising prices and a series of political dramas have added to the government's unpopularity. -- REUTERS

 

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