Feature

Politician freed

The week's news at a glance.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, walked free this week after six years in prison on charges of graft and homosexual sodomy that international observers said were bogus. Anwar was arrested in 1998, one day after then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, once an ally, fired him over political differences. The arrest triggered huge political protests. This week, the highest court dismissed the sodomy charges and said it would hear an appeal on the corruption counts. The ruling is seen as evidence that the courts are being allowed more independence under the new government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Anwar has flown to Germany to be treated for back problems sustained, he said, from beatings in prison.

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