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MALAYSIA - Sep 2, 2004

Malaysia's highest court has overturned the sodomy conviction of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and freed him from prison today. Anwar, once expected to succeed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, spent six years in prison on trumped up charges following a brutal police beating in 1998.

A panel of the Federal Court ruled 2-1 to reverse the conviction against Anwar. He was expected to travel to Germany for surgery related to the police inflicted injuries.

Judge Abdul Hamid Mohamad stated that conviction was flawed because the chief prosecution witness, Azizan Abubakar, had repeatedly changed his testimony during the trail.

Mahathir, renowned for his fiery rhetoric against Western influence in the region, sat on his hands while an antique British colonial sodomy law was utilized to his destroy his former protégé. The show trial, condemned by international observers, included shameful orchestration of witnesses and a prop stained mattress being paraded through the courtroom.



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