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Court To Decide Tuesday on Anwar

April 23, 1999

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Malaysia’s High Court will decide next week whether the country’s jailed former deputy prime minister will be allowed to attend Parliament meetings.

The government news agency Bernama reported Friday that former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim sought a court order to enable him to attend the meetings, which began earlier this month and continue until May 5.

Anwar’s lawyer argued that he had a legal right to attend the meetings because his conviction did not necessarily deprive him of his status as a Parliament member.

A government lawyer earlier rejected Anwar’s application on grounds of national security and public order.

Anwar was convicted Wednesday on four counts of corruption and sentenced to six years in prison. The prosecution claimed he had sex with men and women and then forced police authorities to cover up his misdeeds.

Anwar denies all the charges, saying he was being punished for challenging Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Meanwhile, Anwar’s brother was charged Friday with two counts of sodomy, indicating that Malaysia may proceed with sodomy charges against Anwar himself.

Sukma Dermawan was charged with one count of assisting Anwar in an act of sodomy against Anwar’s former driver and one count of sodomy on the driver. If convicted, Sukma could face up to 20 years in prison.

He has pleaded innocent and was freed on bail. The trial was set for July 5. A decision on whether Anwar will be tried on the remaining six charges of corruption and sodomy was expected next week.

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