Malaysian leader denies involvement in sex video

Kuala Lumpur:  Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim Tuesday lodged a police complaint denying that he was the man in a sex video that emerged Monday, saying such allegations surface every time during elections in the country.

Anwar filed the complaint at the Dang Wangi police station in the capital. He came along with his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and several party colleagues, the Star Online reported.

The video that surfaced Monday afternoon shows a man having sex with a foreign prostitute in a hotel room. A man known only as Datuk T. showed it to the media.

Anwar Ibrahim was appointed deputy prime minister in 1993, but was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison on corruption charges in 1999 and to nine more years on sodomy charges in 2000. He was released in 2004 after the charges were reviewed.

In the March 2008 elections, he forged an opposition alliance that won 88 seats in parliament and wrested control of four states, but was again charged with sodomy that year.

The former deputy prime minister, who is currently facing a second trial on charges of sodomy, said: "Every time we face elections - in 1999, 2008 and now - these allegations surface."

Anwar, who heads the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat, termed the issue a "scurrilous attack" on him.

"I categorically deny it," Anwar, flanked by his wife and party leaders, told the media.

"If the (sodomy) trial says that Anwar is with a man, why is this video with a woman," Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah, asked.

Anwar said he was told the man in the video looked similar to him but with a larger tummy.

"His belly is way bigger than mine. Look at mine - mine is small," he quipped and stood up to show his belly to the mediapersons.

Those present burst out laughing. The politician couple was in a jovial mood as they posed for the cameras, The Star reported.

"It is an evil political conspiracy. It is an attack against my character and my family. This is something we have endured for the last 13 years," he said.

Anwar said the disclosure of the video involved the government and special branch of the police.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak later refuted his statement, saying the police and the government were not involved.

Anwar's ally, the Pan Islamic Malaysian Party, however, said it may re-evaluate its political ties if the sex video was proved to be authentic.

Harun Taib said if the video was authentic, the party certainly did not want to be associated with Anwar. "This is a serious matter as it involves the morality of a leader."

Wan Azizah expressed surprise that Datuk T., the man who claimed to have "stumbled upon" the video at a hotel room earlier allegedly visited by Anwar, wanted Anwar as well as her to step down within a week.

"Why is he asking me to resign? What did I do? These attacks are politically motivated and irresponsible. I have gone through this before," she said.

Malaysia is due for elections in 2013, but Prime Minister Najib indicated he might advance them to this year itself.
Story First Published: March 22, 2011 13:58 IST

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