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Malaysia court allows DNA evidence against Anwar

Malaysia court allows DNA evidence against Anwar

Malaysia's High Court said Wednesday that it would let prosecutors use key DNA evidence in their bid to link opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to traces of semen found on the man who has accused him of sodomy.
The decision was a surprising reversal of the court's own recent ruling that a toothbrush, towel and water bottle that Anwar kept during police detention could not be submitted as evidence in his sodomy trial. A chemist testified that DNA on those items matched that of semen discovered on Anwar's accuser.
The evidence is a vital part of the prosecution's effort to prove that Anwar had sex with his 25-year-old former aide. Anwar faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of sodomy, a crime in this Muslim-majority country.
The court's ruling comes while Anwar is struggling with new allegations of sexual misconduct after a sex video depicting a man believed to resemble him was leaked under mysterious circumstances Monday. Anwar claims both the sodomy charge and the video were fabricated by the government to crush his political threat. Authorities deny any conspiracy.
The High Court had decided earlier this month that the DNA evidence was not obtained legally during Anwar's brief detention in 2008. It reversed its ruling Wednesday after hearing new testimony from police who argued otherwise.
Anwar has refused to voluntarily provide a DNA sample because he fears authorities will tamper with it. The court said Wednesday that he cannot be compelled to do so.
Without DNA evidence, the prosecution's case hinges mainly on testimony by Anwar's ex-aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who claims Anwar coerced him into having sex at a Kuala Lumpur condominium in June 2008.
Prosecutors said they planned to wrap up their case Thursday by recalling two witnesses for testimony.
Anwar, a married 63-year-old with six children, has also been battling to convince the public that he is not the man seen having sex with an unknown woman in a video that people who refused to identify themselves showed to several Malaysian journalists Monday. Police say they are investigating the video, which has not been publicly circulated.


Updated : 2021-06-19 17:30 GMT+08:00