The Court of Appeal’s ‘Miscarriage of Justice’ Against Anwar : ICJ

SHAH ALAM, 10 Mar: The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today condemned as a miscarriage of justice, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction on sodomy charges involving his former aide.

The ICJ in a statement said that the overturning of his 2012 High Court acquittal — following an appeal by the Malaysian government — by a Court of Appeal panel contravenes international human rights standards and the rule law.

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“The ICJ condemns the use of the colonial-era Article 377B of the Malaysian Penal Code, which prohibits consensual same-sex sexual conduct, in conflict with international standards regarding respect for the right to privacy,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.

He said that this decision certainly casts doubts on the independence and impartiality of the Malaysian judiciary and tarnishes the reputation of the country’s legal system.

Last Friday, the Court of Appeal sentenced Anwar to five years in prison on charges of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, six years ago.

Justice Datuk Balia Yusuf Wahi, who led the three-judge panel, allowed Anwar’s appeal to postpone the decision until an appeal was made to the Federal Court to overturn the decision.

Anwar was later released on a bail of RM10,000 and was allowed to leave the court.

Following the verdict, Anwar was disqualified from contesting as a candidate in the Kajang State Legislative Assembly by-election, after the seat was vacated by the incumbent from PKR, Lee Chin Cheh.

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