The European Union (EU) representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has expressed concern over the selective prosecution done on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and the hasty conclusion in the prosecution’s appeal.
Its Foreign Affairs and Security Policy vice-president Catherine Ashton, in a statement today, expressed her strong sentiment over the reversal of Anwar’s acquittal.
“The conduct of this high-profile trial has raised a number of concerns regarding due legal process. The EU is concerned at what appears to be selective prosecution against Anwar and the hasty conclusion of the appeals procedure which directly impacts on his participation in the democratic process.
“The EU nevertheless notes that the carrying out of the verdict has been stayed and bail granted to the defendant pending appeal. The EU will follow the case closely,” she said.
Anwar was convicted of sodomy last week after the Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision in finding him guilty.
Justice Balia Yusof Wahi accepted the prosecution’s submission in that the High Court judge had misdirected himself regarding the integrity of the sample taken from the alleged victim.
Following this, Anwar was convicted and sentenced to five years’ jail at about 7pm, on Friday, after the appellate court refused to postpone the sentencing to another date.
Anwar posted bail on Monday after attending the royal address in parliament.