Bomb blasts greet sodomy acquittal of Malaysia’s opposition leader

Explosions injure five as Anwar Ibrahim addresses crowd of supporters following his acquittal on sodomy charges by the high court in Kuala Lumpur

Bomb blasts greet sodomy acquittal of Malaysia’s opposition leader
09 January 2012

Three homemade bombs exploded among 4,500 supporters of pro-reform Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim, following his release on sodomy charges.

Minutes before Anwar had told the crowd: 'We must focus on the general election because we want an independent judiciary… free media and to rid the country of endemic corruption'. His freedom brings Anwar closer to wining the next general election, likely to be held this year.

In the conclusion of a two-year trial, the charge of sodomy was thrown out by the judge on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Saiful Bukhari Azlan, Anwar's 26-year-old former aide accused the politician of having sex with him in a Kuala Lumpur apartment in 2008. Defence lawyers argued that Saiful's story was inconsistent and the DNA evidence, semen samples found on Saiful's body, was tainted by the police.

Anwar said throughout the trial that the charges were part of a dirty tricks campaign to discredit him by the ruling party, the National Front alliance. Following the verdict, the government released a statement saying the case shows that Malaysia's legal system is fair and independent.

Malaysia has some of the strictest laws against homosexuality in Asia. Sex between men is illegal even if it is consensual. Punishments under Islamic law include whipping and up to twenty years in prison, but these are rarely enforced.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Canada to lift lifetime ban on gay men giving blood

New policy will see gay men who have been celibate for five years eligible to give blood in Canada
No thumbnail available

Power gays: Alex Davis, the swimmer bringing the Gay Games to London

As the bid to host the 2018 Gay Games heats up, GSN meets the woman leading London’s campaign.
No thumbnail available

Trans woman, murdered in July, finally gets funeral in Rome

A 28-year-old trans woman spent four years living on the Italian streets before she was beaten to death with sticks and thrown on a train track
No thumbnail available

Were Elizabeth Taylor and gay actor Montgomery Clift lovers?

Debbie Reynolds writes in new book it 'was obvious he and Elizabeth had been intimate'
Love, lust and scandal in 1940s Hollywood

Love, lust and scandal in 1940s Hollywood

The Glass Protege explores the movie studios' obsession with image, money, and power.
No thumbnail available

Update: London buses refuse to carry anti-gay advert

Just hours after plans for an anti-gay advert on London buses was announced, it has been pulled by Transport for London
No thumbnail available

Taiwan lesbians fight court to adopt in landmark case

Couple barred from adopting the children they co-parent because it would have 'negative impact' on them will appeal court's decision
No thumbnail available

What happened when a son told his gay dad ‘I want to be a Boy Scout’

The Boy Scout of America’s ban on gay participation came to haunt one family when a 10-year-old son couldn’t understand why his dad would be excluded
No thumbnail available

Gay friendliness is important to LGBTI Chinese consumers, new report finds

A new study has found that gay friendliness pays a big part in Chinese LGBTI people’s purchasing choices, suggesting businesses who court them as customers will do well
No thumbnail available

Australian sports commentator in hot water after on-air ‘poofter’ slur

Brian Taylor described a football player as a ‘big poofter’ in his live commentary, and despite his apology some are calling for his sacking