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Thursday, Sept 17
Arrested action
South China Morning Post

KUALA LUMPUR: In the two weeks since Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as Malaysian deputy prime minister he has been accused of a wide variety of crimes, that has included everything from leaking state secrets to sexual misconduct.

But still no move has been made to arrest him, although several of Mr Anwar's associates have been detained and further arrests are expected.

So far the only ''evidence'' against Mr Anwar has come in highly salacious affidavits, which were conveniently filed in an unrelated court case a day after his dismissal.

As a group of Malaysian lawyers pointed out yesterday, the judge's decision to allow these to be made public instead of throwing them out, since they bore no relation to the case he was hearing beyond the fact it involved one of Mr Anwar's associates, amounted to a serious breach of the principles of natural justice and has undermined confidence in the nation's legal system.

Despite a fortnight of smears, with these affidavits being repeatedly headlined in Malaysia's tightly-controlled media, no evidence has been brought forward to substantiate their contents. Mr Anwar claims his friends are being tortured and prostitutes threatened with arrest unless they agree to tell lies against him.

Whether or not this is correct, the failure to arrest someone supposedly guilty of such serious crimes suggests these charges are more for show than for use in the courtroom. It may be, as Mr Anwar fears, that the police will detain him as soon as the Commonwealth Games end on Monday.

But if such considerations are influencing the timing of his arrest, it will only confirm that the charges against him are political rather than criminal.