Anwar-Leaks vs WikiLeaks

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today moved to stem the impact on his sodomy trial of US cables released by WikiLeaks claiming he had sex with a male aide in a honey trap set by enemies.

Anwar's lawyer Sankara Nair told AFP he will file a complaint with the court hearing Anwar's sodomy case over articles in the local media which could affect the former deputy premier's ongoing trial.

Most newspapers in the country carried the allegations on their front page with influential Malay daily Utusan running a headline stating: "Singapore spy agency verifies sodomy act".

"Clearly it's a case of sub-judice, it's hearsay and conjecture, intelligence reports are not based on facts generally, they are based on rumours and I have served in the security services before so I know that the last thing you do is to trust such a report," said Nair.

"The judge must call up the newspapers and ask them to explain why they wrote the piece and to show their proof. If they can't do this then they will be cited for contempt," he added.

"If this is not sinister then it is totally unethical reporting. I have advised my client to file a lawsuit against these papers as well."

The leaked US state department cables from November 2008 were given to Australia's Fairfax media group, which reported Sunday the Australian and Singapore intelligence agencies' assessment of Anwar's ongoing case.

"The Australians said that Singapore's intelligence services and (former prime minister) Lee Kuan Yew have told ONA (Office of National Assessments) in their exchanges that opposition leader Anwar 'did indeed commit the acts for which he is currently indicted'," the cable read.

"ONA assessed, and their Singapore counterparts concurred, 'it was a set-up job and he probably knew that, but walked into it anyway'," according to the cable.

Anwar, 63, has vehemently denied sodomising his aide, 25-year-old Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, claiming he was the victim of a political conspiracy.

He faces 20 years in prison if found guilty of sodomy, a serious crime in Muslim-dominated Malaysia.

Human Rights Watch has urged Malaysia to drop the charges against Anwar, condemning the case as a "charade of justice".
KUALA LUMPUR: On his first day back in Parliament, independent Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali told Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim not to cry conspiracy over WikiLeaks.

"I don't know if it is a trap or not... for me, what's important is that when we do something wrong, and when people take the opportunity to trap us, we cannot accuse others of conspiracy," the Perkasa president told reporters.

Read: Anwar acts to stem WikiLeak effect on sodomy case

According to Internet whistleblower WikiLeaks, a US department cable issued in November 2009 showed that Singapore officials believed that Anwar was guilty of his sodomy charge.

The revelation, which was contained in a message between the Singaporean intelligence and an Australian agency, said that Anwar "did indeed commit the acts for which he is currently indicted".

Reacting to the message, Anwar had accused the Malaysian police and their Special Branch division of contributing to the leak.

However, Ibrahim, who spent the last two months recovering from a heart bypass surgery, said that he was not surprised with Anwar's reaction.

He also advised the opposition leader to take action against WikiLeaks.

"I am not surprised at all (with Anwar). We have talked about him for many years, even during (former prime minister) Mahathir Mohamad's time, to the time where he was sacked as deputy prime minister," Ibrahim said.

"The best thing for him to do is to sue (WikiLeaks). I don't know (how to do so) from what point of the law, but that is the best way for him."

The firebrand MP also criticised the government for not taking action against controversial rapper Wee Meng Chee, or better known as Namewee.

by Patrick Lee

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