Malaysian police to question Anwar over sexual assault allegations
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim will be questioned by police over allegations that he sexually assaulted a male former aide, officials said yesterday.
Mr Anwar has denied the claims by his former research assistant, Mr Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, who says he was assaulted last year.
Mr Anwar, seen as the likely successor to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, spent almost a decade in jail after being convicted of sodomising a young male aide, allegations supporters say were aimed at ruining his political career.
Sex between men remains illegal in the Muslim-majority country.
He was released from prison and pardoned last year after his alliance stormed to a shock victory against a corruption-plagued coalition that had ruled the country since 1957.
But political tensions have escalated, with Dr Mahathir refusing to say exactly when he will hand over power and infighting erupting in his Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
The party has two camps, one that backs Mr Anwar and the other his deputy, Mr Azmin Ali, the Economic Affairs Minister.
The latest allegations against Mr Anwar emerged last week with Mr Yusoff saying Mr Anwar attempted to force him to have sex and lodging a police report.
Mr Yusoff was questioned this week, and the police confirmed Mr Anwar had also been summoned, without saying when he would be brought in for questioning.
Mr Anwar said he was "prepared to assist the police probe as soon as possible" and dismissed the claims as "slander". - AFP