Judge refuses to step aside
Carolyn Hong
Fri, Feb 19, 2010
The Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: The judge in the politically charged sodomy trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim yesterday refused to disqualify himself from hearing the case. The defence counsel also accused Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife of being the 'black hands' behind the prosecution.

Rejecting the defence's accusation of bias, Justice Mohamad Zabidin Diah said: 'There is no reason to recuse myself. If I were to step down from this trial, I would be running away from my responsibility as a judge who has taken an oath of office.'

Anwar is charged with sodomising his former aide Saiful Bhukari Azlan at a condo on June 26, 2008. Anwar, who could be jailed for up to 20 years if convicted, has denounced the charge as trumped up by his political enemies.

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