KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as rejected offers of asylum abroad ahead of a final appeal in October on an abuse conviction that could see him jailed, a political aide said yesterday.
Anwar was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in arch for abusing a young former male aide, but is free pending a final appeal set for October 28-29.
The 67-year-old has dismissed the case as fabricated by the government to ruin his political career. The aide declined further comment but said a media report on the asylum offers was correct.
The Star newspaper quoted Anwar as saying he had received several offers by “foreign leaders” to go overseas but would not accept them.
“I met up with a few foreign leaders who advised me to go overseas to escape a possible prison sentence. At my age, they say they cannot imagine seeing me behind bars,” Anwar was quoted as saying.
The story did not specify which countries Anwar was speaking of.
The accusation surfaced shortly after Anwar led a three-party alliance to unprecedented electoral gains in 2008. A lower court acquitted Anwar in 2012, but an appeals court overturned the in March.