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Anwar leaves refuge after ‘assurance’

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim left the Turkish ambassador’s house in Kuala Lumpur where he took refuge after being hit with sodomy accusations.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2008 22:34 IST

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Monday left the Turkish ambassador’s house in Kuala Lumpur where he took refuge after being hit with sodomy accusations.

Anwar, 60, was accompanied by his wife and daughter as he left the residence. On Sunday he fled to the embassy nearby, saying he feared a government assassination attempt.

The former deputy Premier of Malaysia, who was sacked a decade ago and jailed on sex and corruption charges, said he left only when the government guaranteed his safety.

“I pray enough will be done for my security,” he said.

Anwar said the charges levelled by a 23-year-old male aide were designed to derail his stunning political comeback at the helm of a resurgent opposition, and came as he was poised to re-enter parliament with the backing of four defectors from the ruling coalition. “That is why they brought these allegations against me,” he said. “It is an attempt to destroy my political career.”

His lawyer Sankara Nair said there was “no question” of him being arrested. “The home minister and deputy prime minister have given assurances for his safety. We take that assurance,” he said. “I urge my supporters to be calm but firm. Enough is enough, we will fight it out,” he had earlier said from the mission in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

Foreign minister Rais Yatim reportedly accused Turkey of meddling in Malaysia’s affairs, saying it had no right to give sanctuary to Anwar, a friend of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.