Wikileaks: Anwar said he would be PM or jailed

(The Malay Mail) – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had two options when faced with sodomy charges three years ago, according to diplomatic transcripts revealed by whistleblower site Wikileaks on  Saturday.

He would either become “prime minister or end up in jail” in face of government attempts to use the charges to derail his political challenge when speaking to 40 diplomats assembled at the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) headquarters on July 22, 2008, according to transcripts of US ambassador to Malaysia James R. Keith.

However, the cables quoted him as saying: “This time I’m not going to jail.”

Anwar claimed he had new information that revealed his accuser, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s, extensive contacts with senior police officers prior to the alleged sodomy incident, as well as a medical report that found no evidence of sodomy on the accuser’s body.

Nevertheless, Anwar and his lawyer anticipated prosecutors would soon file formal charges.

“I would quickly announce my decision to run in by-election so as to become a member of Parliament by September. My entry into Parliament was ‘critical’ as a condition for those MPs who have agreed to defect to the Opposition,” he said.

Anwar singled out the US for its concern and looked to the European Union (EU) to take a similar stand while urging other countries to at least raise privately their human rights concerns with Malaysian leaders.

In the 90-minute presentation, Anwar laid out a general proposition that, given political conditions in Malaysia, he would either become Prime Minister or go to jail.

He went through in detail the sodomy allegations and claimed political manipulation, drawing ready comparisons with his earlier prosecution for corruption and sodomy in 1998.

He also told the foreign diplomats of his accuser’s links to the top leadership and the police, and made accusations of evidential tampering, hence, explaining his reluctance to provide DNA samples.

Anwar said he had forgiven those who acted against him in the 1998 corruption and sodomy cases.

On foreign affairs, Anwar said he would seek to maintain strong relations with the US and EU, while also pursuing close ties to all countries, including “Iran and Sudan”. He expressed his strong objection to the US “occupation of Iraq”, while recognising the atrocities of Saddam Hussein.

The cable concludes: “It does seem that Anwar has put on a brave, defiant face on the current situation for his first gathering before diplomats since he returned to active political life in late 2006.

“However, there are only two possible outcomes, under current circumstances, it is far more likely that Anwar finds himself behind bars rather than sitting in the Prime Minister’s office.”