20 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/07/2004
MALAYSIA
Court to review Anwar's corruption conviction

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/AFP) – Anwar Ibrahim's full exoneration seems to be near. The Federal Court, Malaysia's highest court, agreed to review the former deputy prime minister's conviction on corruption charges for which he has already spent nearly six years in prison.

The judges will review their own 2002 decision to refuse Mr Anwar's appeal against the conviction. In their motion to the court, Anwar's lawyers argued that the accusations on which the conviction was made were "baseless" and that the trial was a "violation of fundamental legal principles". Last Thursday, the same Court had overturned Anwar's sodomy conviction and ordered his release.

Government lawyers opposed the ruling arguing that, as the highest court, the Federal Court's decisions should be final and not open to endless review. However, "[w]e have considered arguments and authorities," Federal Court judge Malek Ahmad said, "and we are of the unanimous view that we have the jurisdiction to hear the motion."

Following her father's release, Anwar's oldest daughter, Nurul Izzah, said: "It's not just a question of politics. [My father] has maintained his innocence from these charges all along."

Unless the corruption conviction is overturned, under Malaysian law Anwar is ineligible to lead a political party or stand for election until 2008. Should the Court reverse itself and overturn the conviction, he could run again.

In the meantime, Mr Anwar flew to Germany on Saturday for an operation to his spine, which he says was injured in a police beating after his arrest in 1998. The doctors who performed the two-hour operation said all went well without any complications.

In the second half of the 1990s, Mr Anwar was deputy prime minister and a supporter of reforms. He sought to modernise Malaysia whilst keeping close ties to Malaysia's Muslim population, including its more fundamentalist segments.

To this day, many Malaysian and foreign observers consider Anwar's convictions as a manoeuvre by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed to remove a challenger from the political scene. Anwar is thus a victim of human rights abuse.

Yet, in spite of the general elation, not all voices are as sanguine about Anwar's reformist and liberal credentials. For Far East expert Philip Bowring Anwar's chequered past raises questions about his future role in the country.

"As finance minister, Anwar practiced the politics of patronage [. . .] creating new business groupings linked to his UMNO (United Malays National Organization) party." Browning further writes that "as deputy prime minister he faithfully defended the use of detention without trial under the Internal Security Act." Furthermore, "his charisma and eloquence [. . .] obscured his willingness to use religion and a pious face more effectively than any Malay politician."

What route will Anwar take if he makes a political comeback? Bowring wonders. Will he truly fight for the reforms and human rights which he now stands for? Time will tell. (MA)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/03/2004 MALAYSIA
A free Anwar still calls for reforms
09/02/2004 MALAYSIA
Anwar Ibrahim set free
06/30/2008 MALAYSIA
Anwar Ibrahim, accused of sodomy, fears for his life and political career
09/15/2004 MALAYSIA
Federal Court dismisses Anwar's corruption appeal
09/30/2005 MYANMAR
More than 1,110 political prisoners in Myanmar

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.