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Wednesday, December 16, 1998 Published at 08:07 GMT

World: Asia-Pacific

Witness: Anwar did not father illegitimate child

Prosecutors say this mattress has evidence of Anwars sexual misconduct

A key prosecution witness in the trial of the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has admitted that blood tests ordered by the police showed that Mr Anwar was not the father of an alleged illegitimate child.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Musa Hassan told the court that the tests showed Mr Anwar's private secretary Azmin Mohamad Ali was the father of the girl.

[ image: Anwar is accused of trying to cover up his alleged relationship with Mrs Shamsidar]
Anwar is accused of trying to cover up his alleged relationship with Mrs Shamsidar
The prosecution alleges that Mr Anwar had an affair with Mr Azmin's wife, Shamsidah Mohamad Tahrin, and then used his position to cover up the relationship.

The allegations that Mr Anwar had fathered an illegitimate child were contained in the book "Fifty Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become Prime Minister", that was circulated in Malaysian political circles shortly before Mr Anwar was dismissed from his post.

DNA tests

On Tuesday, in a move that further sensationalised the trial, the prosecution team brought a queen-size mattress into court which they said had semen stains from Mr Anwar's sexual trysts with Miss Shamsidah. The result of DNA tests conducted on the mattress with samples taken from Mr Anwar have not yet been revealed.

[ image: Former classmates show their support outside the High Court]
Former classmates show their support outside the High Court
As proceedings resumed on Wednesday former class mates of Mr Anwar arrived at court to express their support for him.

Former students of the elite Malay College - known as the Eton of the East - told reporters outside the court they did not believe the charges against the former deputy premier. Until his sacking in September, Mr Anwar was seen as the favoured successor of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

"We know the boys who played truant, who sneaked out to the cinema and did unsavory things. Today they are still like that," said former classmate Raja Puteri, who says he has known Mr Anwar for 35 years.

"But Anwar was very religious. He was strict and he did not like dirty jokes," he said.

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