The Malaysian High Court in Kuala Lumapar has acquitted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
The 64-year-old Ibrahim was charged in 2008 with sodomising a former aide in a case he contended was politically motivated. Under Malaysian law sex between males is a punishable offence even if consensual.
Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland today said the United States welcomes the closure of this long-running case, which the country has followed closely. She said the ruling reflects favorably on the independence of Malaysia’s judiciary and presents an opportunity for all Malaysians to focus on the future.
According to media reports the second acquittal of opposition leader on sex charges is a shock ahead of poll that could shake ruling party’s grip on power in Malaysia.
Anwar bin Ibrahim is a Malaysian politician who served as Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998. In 1999, he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption, and in 2000, to another nine years for sodomy.