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Malaysia's Anwar has alibi against sodomy charges: Lawyer

world Updated: May 31, 2010 12:33 IST

AFP
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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is on trial for sodomy, has an alibi and will argue he was in a meeting at the time of the alleged incident, his lawyer said on Monday.

Anwar's accuser, 25-year-old Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan who was an aide in his office, has testified that the pair had a tryst at a Kuala Lumpur condominium in June 2008.

But defence counsel Karpal Singh said he will confront Saiful with Anwar's alibi that he was in fact meeting with several people at another apartment in the building.

After brief cross-examination of Saiful, the lawyer asked the judge for permission for the defence and the prosecution to visit the building.

"We need to go there for the purpose of the alibi," Karpal told reporters later. "We want to have a re-look at the place," he said. "It will be relevant for the purpose of the alibi which I have to put to the witness."

He said that Anwar and the people he was meeting with were "at the opposite unit" to the one where Saiful had testified that the opposition leader propositioned him for sex after he delivered a document.

Anwar, a former deputy premier who was sacked and jailed on separate sex and corruption counts a decade ago, has denied the allegations, which he says have been trumped up in a political conspiracy to end his career.

In cross-examination of the accuser, the defence has highlighted his meeting with Prime Minister Najib Razak -- who was then deputy premier -- shortly before making the sodomy complaint to police.

Anwar's opposition made huge strides in the 2008 election, stunning the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, which has been in power for half a century.

The trial began in February but has been punctuated by lengthy delays, and resumed Monday after a two-week hiatus.