Malaysian Court Acquits Anwar of Sodomy

Posted January 9th, 2012 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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Malaysia's high court has acquitted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy charges.

The judge ruled Monday that the DNA used by prosecutors as evidence was not reliable. The judge also said there was not enough corroborating evidence proving that Anwar had sex with a former male aide.

Homosexuality is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia. If he had been convicted, Anwar could have faced 20 years in prison.

Anwar is a former deputy prime minister who was forced to resign in 1998 after his conviction on an earlier sodomy charge. The Supreme Court later threw out that verdict.

Anwar has denied all the sodomy charges, saying his chief political rival, Prime Minister Najib Razak, concocted them. The prime minister denies the allegation.

Anwar is considered to be a leading opposition candidate in this year's general elections.

Police say three blasts were heard outside the courthouse after Anwar was cleared of the charges. Authorities say two people were wounded by explosions.

Officials say at least one of the explosive devices was placed under a police cone.