US concern as Malaysia overturns Anwar sodomy acquittal

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim at the court of appeals in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 7, 2014The United States on Friday voiced concern over what it says are politically motivated charges brought against Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, urging Malaysia to ensure fairness and transparency. In a long-running case which stretches back to the late 1990s, the Malaysian Court of Appeals Friday overturned Anwar’s acquittal on sodomy laws and sentenced him to five years in jail. “The decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, and his trial, have raised a number of concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the court,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “In this high-profile case, it is critical for Malaysia to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy and judiciary.”

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