KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s highest court rejected on Tuesday an appeal by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (AFP photo) against a sodomy conviction, sending the politician who poses the greatest threat to the long-ruling coalition back to prison for five years.
The UN Human Rights office and Australia said they were disappointed by the ruling.
Anwar denied the charge that led to his second conviction for sodomy as a fabrication aimed at ending his political career.
“I will walk again for the third time into prison but rest assured that I will walk in with my head held high,” a defiant Anwar said in a statement he read out in court.
“I maintain my innocence.”
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government has rejected any suggestion of interference in the case.
“Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures,” the government said in a statement after the ruling.
Anwar criticised the court saying that in rejecting his appeal it was “bowing to the dictates of the political masters”.
“You chose to remain on the dark side and drown your morals and your scruples in a sea of falsehood and subterfuge,” he told the judges who walked out of the court as he spoke.