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Last Updated: Monday, 6 October, 2003, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Anwar lodges fresh appeal

By Jonathan Kent
BBC correspondent in Kuala Lumpur

The former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, has launched what could be a final attempt to have his conviction for sodomy overturned.

His appeal was filed as the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, told a newspaper that the toughest decision of his 22-year career was to sack Mr Anwar in 1998.

Anwar Ibrahim
Anwar was sentenced to nine years in jail for sodomy
Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to six years in jail for corruption in 1999. Two years later he was given a nine year term for sodomy.

His trials were widely criticised both in Malaysia and around the world for being flawed.

His lawyers appealed on Monday to Malaysia's federal court against the sodomy conviction on 87 different grounds after a lesser court ruled in April that the original judgement was sound.

Mr Anwar said in a statement that the appeal judges' ruling, finally published in August, reeked of deception and fraud and utter contempt for the truth.

In the original trial the prosecution's main witness claimed to have been sodomised by Mr Anwar in 1992.

However, when it emerged that the building in which the acts allegedly took place did not then exist, he claimed that they had taken place two years later.


Mr Anwar complains that the trial judge would neither accept his revised alibi nor question the credibility of the witness.

Mahathir's 'pain'

In an interview published on Monday, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, denied that Mr Anwar's prosecution had been an act of revenge.

Dr Mahathir said his decision to sack Mr Anwar had been the worst moment of his long political career.

He said he had been ready to step down in 1998 but lost faith in Mr Anwar's ability to handle the then East Asian financial crisis.

Dr Mahathir is due to step down at the end of this month.

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