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Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Published at 11:45 GMT

World: Asia-Pacific

Police assaulted Anwar

Results of police investigation into injuries not yet released

Malaysia's Attorney-General, Mohtar Abdullah, has said that the police were responsible for the injuries suffered by the former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, while he was in custody, according to a report from the official Bernama news agency.

Malaysia Crisis Section
Mr Anwar, who is on trial on charges of illegal sex acts and corruption, appeared in court in September with a black eye, saying he had been assaulted by police.

Correspondent Frances Harrison: Statement will boost Anwar's morale
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who sacked Mr Anwar in early September, ordered a police investigation into the allegations, the results of which have not been officially released.

[ image: The trial has become a rallying-point for political reform]
The trial has become a rallying-point for political reform
But Mr Abdullah is now quoted as saying "the Royal Malaysia Police is fully responsible for the injuries to (Mr Anwar) whilst in the legal custody of the police".

The chief lawyer said "the person or persons" responsible for Mr Anwar's injuries had not been identified.

"After further investigation is conducted and if there is prima facie case, I as the attorney-general, will not hesitate to allow proceedings to begin against any individual proven to be responsible," he said.

Prosecution case ends

The attorney-general's remarks came as the prosecution in Mr Anwar's trial rested its case in the Kuala Lumpur High Court, after another day of allegations about a stained mattress.

Mr Anwar's defence lawyers alleged that semen stains on a mattress presented as evidence by the prosecution could have been "planted".

Prosecutors have tried to prove that Mr Anwar had had an affair with Shamsidar Taharin, the wife of his then secretary.

Criminal investigations officer Mohamad Rodwan Mohamad Yusof told the court he could not tell if the 13 stains tested for DNA were those he saw when the mattress was seized in July. He also said that his test did not eliminate the possibility that semen could have been taken from Anwar and planted on the mattress.

The court also heard that a blood test conducted on Mr Anwar revealed that he was not infected with the HIV virus.

The earlier stages of the trial concerned allegations of sodomy. More recent evidence has attempted to prove that he had an affair with Ms Shamsidar and tried to conceal it.

Mr Anwar, who until recently was seen as the natural successor to the prime minister, has pleaded not guilty to five counts each of corruption and illegal sex acts, saying he was framed by political opponents seeking to destroy his career.

The prosecution has called 23 witnesses over 39 days in court since the trial began.

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