LAWAN TETAP LAWAN
Posted August 6, 2008on:
SAMPAI MATI ATAU MENANG…
|Anwar: I’ll be charged tomorrow|
|Aug 6, 08 12:38pm
PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim today said he had been informed he would be formally charged with sodomy tomorrow – a crime punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.”They are charging me tomorrow. It’s for sodomy,” Anwar told AFP, adding that the authorities had informed him of the move in a letter.
Anwar, a former deputy premier who was jailed a decade ago on sodomy charges that were later overturned, faces new allegations by a 23-year-old aide, Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Deputy police chief Ismail Omar confirmed the Attorney-General’s office had decided to charge Anwar and that he was required to appear in court at 10am tomorrow.
“The police have completed their investigations into the allegations of sexual misconduct involving Anwar Ibrahim according to the principles and the procedures of law within the country’s legal system,” he said in a statement.
Anwar has rejected the accusations which he says have been fabricated to prevent him from toppling the government, after landmark March elections that handed the opposition an unprecedented one-third of parliamentary seats.
“This charge is only possible on the orders from the prime minister, who today faces a confidence crisis and leadership struggle,” he said.
Anwar said that Abdullah, who has faced calls to quit since March elections that handed the opposition unprecedented gains, was “desperate” and using the case “to cover up his failures and abuses.”
He announced last week he would contest a by-election for a seat vacated by his wife and earlier today the Election Commission announced the vote would be held on Aug 26.
Visit by police
The police visited the home of PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim in Bukit Segambut, Kuala Lumpur at 12.10pm today.
The police team was led by DSP Jude Pereira (left) – who refused to speak to the waiting horde of reporters as he left Anwar’s house.
The notice requires Anwar to be present at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court at 10am tomorrow.
Anwar meanwhile has called for a press conference at the PKR headquarters at 3pm today.
He is believed to be currently having a meeting with his lawyers and party leaders.
The sodomy charge preferred against Anwar is not expected to have a bearing in the by-election as only convicted persons are barred from contesting or forced to step down from being an elected representative.
The commission’s chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said parties must nominate their candidates on Aug 16.
“During the by-election, it is important for all parties to follow the orders given by the security authorities and ensure peace and stability,” he told reporters.
Election Commission secretary Kamaruzaman Mohamad Noor said Anwar could still contest the by-election even after charges were laid, although he would be disqualified if he is found guilty and jailed.
“Under Malaysian laws, you are only guilty when you are convicted. Otherwise, being charged does not make you a convict, or a guilty person,” he told AFP.
Polling day on Tuesday
PKR information chief Tian Chua condemned the authorities’ decision to hold the vote on a Tuesday, instead of on the weekend which is usual practice.
“I think the reason they are having it on a weekday is to reduce the turnout,” he said.
“This is a deliberate action to inconvenience the voters. We condemn the Election Commission for their decision.
“We fear there could be rigging. We urge our supporters not to be complacent, it is going to be a tough battle but we are confident of victory,” he said.
Anwar’s lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah indicated that the opposition was prepared for a gruelling court battle.
“We will fight hard against the might of the state. In any criminal case, the odds are stacked against the accused, and in a political case the odds will be stacked heavily against the accused,” he told reporters.
Ibrahim Suffian of the Merdeka Centre research firm said Anwar was virtually assured of victory in the by-election.
“Barring any unforeseen situation emerging in the next couple of weeks, I don’t think we are in for any surprise – he’s going to win the election by a handsome margin,” the pollster said.
“The key thing will be the margin by which he wins, and whether it’s bigger than his wife’s margin, as a barometer of how opposition support has improved or not since March.”
“The government has been telling us that it was wrong for Anwar’s wife to resign so soon after the general elections,” said 35-year-old businesswoman J. Sumathi.
“However, it is a non-issue as far as I am concerned. Anwar is a capable leader who should be in parliament to fight for our rights.”