(Adds judge’s ruling in second paragraph.)
Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife won’t be required to testify in the sodomy trial of the country’s opposition leader, who has accused the couple of trying to frame him for political reasons.
Lawyers for opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim failed to show the “relevancy” of forcing Najib and his spouse to give testimony, Judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah said in a court in Kuala Lumpur today.
Malaysia’s High Court ruled on Aug. 8 that Anwar’s lawyers could interview Najib and the defendant had sought to subpoena the prime minister and his wife, Rosmah Mansor.
Anwar faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted of sodomizing a former aide and the outcome may determine the future of his People’s Alliance coalition as well as whether he can run in the next general elections, which must be called by early 2013. Najib has denied Anwar’s accusation that he played a role in having him framed.
Sodomy, defined as “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” is illegal in Malaysia even if the act is between two consenting men.
--Editors: Patrick Harrington, Paul Tighe
To contact the reporter on this story: Gan Yen Kuan in Kuala Lumpur at firstname.lastname@example.org
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