16 Julai 2008

Anwar arrested!

by Malaysiakini

"I was in the car with him when he was arrested. We were surrounded. Their (the police team) exact words were 'you are under arrest'." Detained PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's lawyer N Sankara Nair recounted this afternoon's drama when met by reporters outside the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters at about 2.45pm.

He said the police officers did not serve any warrant when arresting Anwar near his house in Segambut Dalam.

However, the opposition stalwart was not handcuffed when taken in a white Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD vehicle with tinted windows.

According to the lawyer, Anwar's arrest had nothing to do with his non-appearance at the police headquarters on Monday.

"In fact, several minutes before the arrest, the investigation officer DSP Jude Pereira called us to ask if were coming. We replied that we would be there at 2pm sharp," he said.

"If Anwar had not showed up at 2pm, I would understand the need to arrest. The police have breached the trust and confidence we once had.

"Now, my client has expressed fear that he will be subjected to intimidation by the police," he added.

On June 28, Anwar's former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan filed a police report claiming that the politician had sodomised him.

Anwar claimed it is a political conspiracy, but government leaders have denied this.

Lawyer Sivarasa with Anwar

Sankara said the police must explain the purpose of arresting Anwar in such a manner.

He also stressed that under the law, Anwar does not need to provide the police with a DNA sample.

The police started recording the opposition stalwart's statement at about 2.50pm on the sodomy allegation against him.

It is believed that PKR vice-president R Sivarasa - who is also a lawyer - is present with Anwar.

Deputy national police chief Ismail Omar confirmed Anwar had been arrested, saying he was a suspect in the sodomy case and would need to undergo a medical examination.

"He is not being charged with anything yet, don't jump to conclusions," Ismail told AFP.

"We have to record his statement to complete our investigations," he said. "Once the facts are in we can make a decision."

Anwar was supposed to have gone to the police headquarters on Monday to have his statement recorded.

However, he refused to go claiming that the police acted unprofessionally by 'intimidating and harassing' his staff and family while attempting to serve an order under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code on Sunday.

Yesterday, the police gave Anwar an ultimatum to be present at the police headquarters at 2pm or face the possibility of arrest.

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