Malaysia's Anwar: Sodomy ChargesAgain

Opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim faces new gay-sex allegations that many observers believe are politically motivated
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (C) speaks to journalists as his wife Wan Azizah (R) looks on at the courthouse in Kuala Lumpur on August 7, 2008. STR/AFP/Getty Images

History is repeating itself in politically embattled Malaysia. "This is malicious slander, and I'm not guilty," declared former Deputy Prime Minister and current opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim, 60, on Aug. 7 in court after being formally charged for allegedly sodomizing a male aide, 23-year-old Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Anwar, who spent more than five years in jail before a court threw out earlier charges in 2004, helped power a strong performance by the three main opposition parties in national elections last February. The leader of a new opposition alliance, he recently announced his intention to run in a by-election on Aug. 26 for a seat in Parliament that had been held by his wife, Wan Azizah, who resigned to pave the way for his formal return to politics.

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