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King of Malaysia Pardons Anwar Ibrahim After Three Years in Prison for Sodomy
(Blogmensgo, schwuler Blog vom 17. Mai 2018) Malaysian King Muhammad Faris Petra has now pardoned Anwar Ibrahim, who had been in prison for three years for sodomy. Anwar Ibrahim, aged 70, served his third political prison sentence in five decades, the last two times under false pretenses. The former opposition politician was pardoned for a “miscarriage of justice” and does not have to spend the remaining two years in prison. He was released on May 16, 2018 after a change of political leadership and could soon become Prime Minister of Malaysia. His wife Wan Azizah is Deputy Prime Minister in the new government.
Anwar Ibrahim is extremely popular in Malaysia because he has been fighting against corruption and the oppression of the poor, but perhaps also because he speaks with a soft and gentle voice, as one can hear in this speech of 2012, before his last imprisonment:
In 2016, Anwar Ibrahim was finally sentenced to five years in federal court for sodomy (“unnatural act of the flesh”). Malaysia's Penal Code (a country with a very large Muslim majority) provides for the whip and up to 20 years in prison. The Kuala Lumpur Court of Appeal ruled on 20 January 2010 that these provisions are constitutional.
Ibrahim had already been sentenced to 20 years in prison for corruption and sodomy in 1998, but was acquitted in second instance. He then spent six years in solitary confinement before being released in 2004.
In 2010, he was again sentenced for sodomy, which led to his initial release in 2012 and an appeal in 2014. This sentence for sodomy, which became final in 2016, is now officially considered a “miscarriage of justice”.
Ibrahim's recent alliance with Mahathir Mohamad, until 1998 a close ally whose deputy prime minister he even was, now led to the overthrow of their common opponent.
Ibrahim has always claimed that his last two arrests were a put-up game between his then enemies Mohamad and Razak. In both regimes, Ibrahim had fought against the very widespread corruption. Former Prime Minister Razak is now involved in a major financial scandal after 10 billion EUR disappeared from a public fund he had created in 2015.