Rules of Evidence saves Anwar

It’s not every day evidence law makes headlines in Southeast Asia. The Malaysian government began prosecuting opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy soon after his PKR alliance did surprisingly well in the 2008 general elections. Now, the High Court has excluded DNA evidence linking Anwar to the alleged sodomy. The judges found that the DNA samples had been taken from a toothbrush, water bottle, and hand towel in Anwar’s prison cell were taken without Anwar’s permission. Now, the prosecution must rely on the testimony of the alleged sodomy victim, who, as I’ve written earlier, has already been caught in a “compromising position” when it came to light that he had an affair with one of the female prosecutors. I’m not sure if this means Anwar will escape conviction, but it might suggest UMNO feels secure enough to let him go. After all, Prime Minister Najib is considering calling early elections.

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