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Anwar acquitted in sodomy trial

Kuala Lumpur, Jan. 9 (Reuters): A Malaysian court acquitted Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy charges today, a surprise ruling that could accelerate the political comeback of one of Asia’s most celebrated reformers.

“Justice has been done. I am vindicated,” Anwar told supporters outside Kuala Lumpur’s High Court at the end of the two-year trial after a former aide made the accusations in 2008.        

The decision, based on the possible contamination of DNA samples, gives the Opposition a firebrand leader in time for elections expected this year. But it could also undermine one of his main arguments against the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak: that the judiciary is corrupt and biased.       

Judge Zabidin Mohamad Diah found Anwar not guilty due to doubts over whether DNA samples tendered as evidence were contaminated. “And because it was a sexual offence, the court is reluctant to convict on uncorroborated evidence. Therefore the accused is acquitted.”

 
 
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