Malaysian leader calls for protection against death threats
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Monday urged the government to provide him and his family security protection against alleged death threats, which had driven him to seek refuge at the Turkish embassy in the capital Kuala Lumpur, reported dpa.
Anwar, who was forced to battle fresh sodomy allegations over the weekend, said his decision to accept an invitation to stay at the embassy was for "purely security issues."
A former aide had lodged a police report on Saturday, alleging that the former deputy prime minister-turned-opposition leader had sodomized him.
Anwar's lawyers on Monday filed counter charges saying the aide had lodged a false, malicious and libellous police report.
Anwar claimed the report was a "desperate attempt" to prevent him from exposing the national police chief Musa Hassan and Attorney General Gani Patail for their alleged role in the 1998 charges of corruption and sodomy against him.
"I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress," Anwar said in a statement.
Shortly after issuing his statement, Anwar fled to the Turkish embassy where he said he will remain until the government assures him and his family of protection.
"Past experiences have taught us that there are those with a grudge who are capable only of violent and vicious acts," Anwar said in a statement early Monday.
"In this context, my police report against Musa Hasan and Gani Patail is related. We have proof that they were involved in evidence fabrication, torture and forcing statements from those involved," he said.
"What I am requesting is an assurance from the government that the past mistakes are not repeated. As soon as there is a guarantee of protection for me and my family, we will return immediately," said Anwar.
Sodomy is punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment in the predominantly Muslim country.
Former premier Mahathir Mohamad fired Anwar 10 years ago amid accusations of corruption and sodomy. He was convicted on both charges, but the sodomy conviction was subsequently overturned and he was released from prison in 2004.
Anwar, 60, has maintained the sodomy and corruption charges were trumped up.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has refuted allegations that the government has any involvements with the latest sodomy allegations, and has called on the police to investigate the matter thoroughly.
During the March 8 elections, the governing National Front coalition lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority, and lost control of five of Malaysia's 13 states to Anwar's three-party opposition alliance.