07/16/2008, 00.00
MALAYSIA
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Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim again under arrest

He is taken into custody an hour before he was due to give a statement to police at 2 pm today to answer sodomy charges. For analysts it is essentially a political matter.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Police arrested Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim near his home today and took him to police headquarters without giving any reason, his lawyer said

This came an hour before Mr Anwar was due to give a statement at 2 pm to police over sodomy allegations when about a dozen armed police, some wearing balaclavas, presented him with a warrant for his arrest.

Mr Anwar was bundled into a police car and driven to the police headquarters.

For some analysts the arrest was likely designed to exacerbate political tensions and stop the opposition which made unprecedented gains in last March general elections, undermining the strength in Parliament of the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

Anwar Ibrahim is charged with sodomy involving one of his aides, 23-year-old Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who disappeared after filing a report with police.

In Malaysia sodomy is punishable by 20 years imprisonment.

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