Malaysia opposition leader charged over defying ban
APKUALA LUMPUR -- Prosecutors charged Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and two of his allies Tuesday with breaking various laws during a massive street rally to demand electoral fairness.
May 23, 2012, 3:30 pm TWN
The charges could distract Anwar from preparing for national elections that many speculate will be held by September.
The three men were charged in a Kuala Lumpur court with defying a court ban against assembling at a public square in Kuala Lumpur last month and inciting other demonstrators to breach a police barricade.
They pleaded innocent and face a maximum jail sentence of six months and fines totaling 12,000 ringgit (US$3,800) if convicted. The court scheduled a preliminary hearing on July 2 to determine further trial dates.
“It is clearly a politically motivated charge. Elections are around the corner,” Anwar told reporters.