Wednesday, 17th February 2010
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry lends his support to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim by calling for a fair trial for the latter.
United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has added to calls for a fair trial for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is now facing another sodomy charge.
The call came after 50 Australian MPs last week asked the Malaysian government to drop the sodomy charge, the second of such charge the former deputy prime minister is facing in 12 years. The Barisan Nasional Youth and Malay rights group Perkasa protested outside the Australian High Commission this morning against that call.
“I call on the government of Malaysia, and specifically on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to ensure a fair and equitable resolution of the legal proceedings currently under way against former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim,” Kerry said in a statement.
“It has been over a decade since Anwar’s first trial, on charges that were later overturned by the Federal Court. The current charges closely mirror the ones levied years ago, and have been brought soon after Mr. Anwar’s resumption of his role as elected Member of Parliament and leader of the parliamentary opposition. I urge the Malaysian government to accord Mr. Anwar every legal protection to which he is entitled as a Member of Parliament and as a citizen — and to settle his case in a manner that builds confidence in the impartiality and credibility of the Malaysian judicial system,” said the former US presidential contender.
Kerry’s call came amid efforts by the Malaysian government and its diplomats to isolate Anwar. The Najib Administration have responded to the calls by saying sodomy is illegal although the charge has yet to be proven in the ongoing case.
Anwar has called the charge as a conspiracy to end his political comeback after being jailed for sodomy and corruption in 1999. He was freed in 2004 and later led the Pakatan Rakyat to deny Barisan Nasional its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and also capture four more states. Anwar later won back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency.
The PKR de facto leader met Kerry over the weekend at the US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar.