Anwar loses bid to have Malaysian PM appear as
witness in sex trial
KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 (AFP) - The judge in former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial Friday rejected a defence bid for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to appear as a witness.
"There is not an iota of evidence by any witnesses so far to show that Dr. Mahathir is involved in a political conspiracy to topple (Anwar)," said high court Justice Arifin Jaka.
"Under these circumstances, it is futile to call Dr. Mahathir to give evidence in this trial."
Arifin said the defence had failed to satisfy the court that Mahathir's testimony would be crucial to the trial and ordered that a subpoena for the premier to appear as a witness be set aside.
As the judge was reading his decision, Anwar was heard exclaiming: "My God!"
He jumped up from his seat immediately after Arifin delivered his ruling and said angrily: "Dr. Mahathir should have the moral courage to come.
"Where is the justice in this court? You did not consider at all my views. We have a judgement that takes Dr. Mahathir's views as the gospel truth.
"He has been roaring like a lion to the whole world and now, he is like a mouse."
Anwar, sacked by Mahathir in September 1998, was jailed for six years last April for abusing his powers to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct. He is now on trial for sodomy, punishable by up to 20 years in jail.
Anwar, 52, says he is the victim of a high-level conspiracy because he intended to expose corruption and was seen as a political threat to the premier.