Anwar Ibrahim cleared of sodomy charges | Asia Pacific

Anwar Ibrahim cleared of sodomy charges

Anwar Ibrahim cleared of sodomy charges

Posted 9 January 2012, 21:38 AEDT

But first to the surprise ruling that could hail the political comeback of one of Southeast Asia's most charismatic politicians.

A Malaysian court has acquitted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after a two-year trial on sodomy charges.

The judge found there were doubts over whether DNA evidence against Anwar had been contaminated.

The verdict clears him of sexual misconduct with a young male aide - defying the expectations of many political observers and even Anwar himself.

Anwar had previously dismissed the charges as a conspiracy to bring down his resurgent opposition coalition.

He now says justice has been served, and he's vowing to topple the government in national polls expected to be held this year.

The government's also hailed the decision.

It says it's a sign of Malaysia's judicial independence.

Professor Clive Kessler of the University of New South Wales is a long-time Malaysia watcher, and he says he wasn't entirely surprised at the result.

Presenter: Joanna McCarthy

Speaker: Professor Clive Kessler of the University of New South Wales

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