Malaysian Court Delays Restart of Anwar Trial

Posted August 8th, 2011 at 3:05 am (UTC-5)
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A Malaysian judge has postponed the restart of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial to allow defense lawyers to interview witnesses, including Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Anwar had been expected to testify this week for the first time in the three-year-long trial, to rebut a charge that he sodomized a male former aide in 2008. He says the government fabricated the charge for political reasons. Mr. Razak has denied any conspiracy.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Monday postponed the hearings until August 15, to enable defense attorneys to meet with possible witnesses.

Prosecutors said the witnesses, including Mr. Razak and his wife, will be compelled to meet with Anwar's lawyers but cannot be forced to answer their questions. The chief accuser in the case says he spoke to Mr. Razak before Anwar was charged.

If convicted, Anwar faces 20 years in prison.