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EX-IMF, World Bank bosses ask Malaysia to drop Anwar sodomy charge

In Anwar Ibrahim on July 25, 2008 at 4:48 am

Paul MartinAFP | Malaysia should drop its sodomy charges against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, said a joint statement by three former leading figures on the international stage.

“We have heard with deep concern the charges filed against the honorable Datuk Seri Dr. Anwar Ibrahim,” said the statement by former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin, ex-World Bank chief James Wolfensohn, and Michel Camdessus, the former head of the International Monetary Fund.

They said the charges were brought “in spite of the fact that similar unsubstantiated charges filed 10 years ago against him were overturned by the Supreme Court.”

They therefore hoped that “the government of Malaysia will … demonstrate, by dropping the charges… an exemplary sense of respect for the rights of the individual which are so important to the international standing of Malaysia.”

The three reiterated their “full confidence in his (Anwar’s) moral integrity.”

Anwar spent a night in custody last week after being arrested over accusations that he sodomised a 23-year-old male aide. He was released on bail.

The events threaten to derail Anwar’s spectacular political comeback, after March elections that handed the opposition a third of parliamentary seats.

Anwar was sacked as deputy premier in 1998 and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges widely seen as politically motivated. The sex conviction was overturned by the nation’s highest court in 2004.

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