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‘With me behind bars, PKR is stronger’

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Putrajaya, March 7- PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, 67,  told reporters today that his party would continue to be stronger even if he was imprisoned.

“Kajang will be stronger, inshaAllah. My party will be able to consolidate further because the boss is in trouble,” he laughed.

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“The beauty of this is that it’s not just (about) Anwar, it’s a struggle. So you want to cut off Anwar, you put Anwar in prison, then the party, the movement becomes stronger.

“You deny Anwar the seat, and I believe inshaAllah Kajang people will fight back and I will be there everyday to campaign.”

Anwar appeared unfazed by the five year prison sentence against him, and was optimistic that the struggle for reformasi would be stronger than ever.

He said “they” had apparently not learned from the wrath of the people.

When asked if he believed he was a victim in this case, Anwar said yes.

“You can see the conduct, no reference to the facts in the law. Follow strictly the script given to you. This is a criminal trial. You mean to say it’s beyond reasonable doubt?”

He said the conduct of the judges was “pathetic” and zeroed in on Judge Aziah Ali, who he described as showing “so much venom and anger.”

“She’s not fit to be a judge to behave in that manner. There’s no decorum, the appearance of being fair, not biased,” he stressed.

He also dismissed Shafee’s comments that he was a “national threat”.

“You see the corrupt, the murderers, the rapists all in collusion, so I become the national threat,” said Anwar.

‘It’s all over again after 15 years’         

muhd izzwanEarlier, a clearly shocked Anwar appeared to have lost all hope of going back home today, claiming that it was clear that the Court of Appeal wanted to “put me in the lockup”.

With his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail standing in tears next to him, Anwar was seen comforting his daughter Nurul Izzah, who was also in tears.

“It’s all over again after 15 years. They want to put me in the lockup. That’s why they want to go ahead with the mitigation,” he told reporters.

Just minutes earlier the Court of Appeal had allowed the prosecution’s appeal to overturn the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling in 2012 to free Anwar of a sodomy charge.

The three-man Court of Appeal panel chaired by Justice Balia Yusof Wahi with Justices Aziah Ali and Mohd Zawawi Salleh ruled unanimously that Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah had erred in his decision to free Anwar.

“We unanimously allow this appeal and set aside the decision of the High Court. The respondent is hereby found guilty and convicted of the offence charged.”

Following mitigation, the court sentenced Anwar to five years jail. However it allowed him a stay of sentencing pending a further appeal, and granted him a RM10,000 bail.

Sodomy is an offence punishable by a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years of jail and whipping, although Anwar’s age discounts him from being whipped.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division deputy director Phil Robertson said the government was prepared do whatever it took to knock Anwar out of politics.

“Anwar and his family appear caught in a never-ending nightmare of his political adversaries’ making, with the courts as the instrument of his political execution,” he said in a statement.

He added that the crime that Anwar was accused of should never have been considered a crime in the first place.

Anwar was acquitted by the High Court judge Mohd Zabidin on Jan 9, 2012 of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008 at the Desa Damansara condominium.

This is the second time Anwar has been found guilty of sodomy. He was first charged in 1998 and was jailed for nine years in prison in 2000. In September 2004 the Federal Court overturned his sodomy conviction. He was also sentenced to six years in prison for corruption in April 1999.

-FreeMalaysiaToday