Jul 16, 08 1:16pm
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested by the police just outside his home in Bukit Segambut, Kuala Lumpur,
at 12.55pm today.
The de facto PKR leader was on his way back to his house after being questioned by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).
A team of police officers were waiting, according to lawyer R Sivarasa.
Anwar was driven away in a 4WD vehicle with tinted windows, escorted by a convoy of 15 patrol cars. They arrived at Kuala Lumpur police headquarters at 1.11pm.
It is believed that members of a special team from the serious crime division – sporting balaclavas and leather jackets – were also involved in the operation.
At 1.40pm, about 200 supporters and opposition parliamentarians were assembled outside the building. Among them is DAP leader Karpal Singh.
Anwar was to have met the police by 2pm to be questioned over the complaint of sodomy against him by a former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
According to media reports today, a warrant of arrest had already been obtained, to be used in the event of a no-show.
Anwar’s wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail confirmed the arrest.
She told reporters in parliament that she had received a call from Anwar and that he had complained of rough treatment by the arresting officers.
“I received a call from my husband that the police picked him up just before he reached the house,” she said.
“I didn’t have time to ask whether there was a warrant… He’s on the way – this is my guess – to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters, where he was supposed to report at 2pm.”
Anwar also told her to return to their home first in order to calm their children and come to the police headquarters later.
“I’m apprehensive because my husband – it’s been 10 years down the road. He is not well, he has a bad back for which he has (undergone) surgery,” said Azizah, who appeared visibly distraughted and numbed by the news.
“From the brief conversation, he said that they (the police) were not gentle.”
It is learnt that Anwar is to be charged under Section 377C of the Penal Code which relates to ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’.
A recent amendment to the provision reads: ‘Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of any object into the vagina or anus of the other person shall be punished with imprisonment or a term which may extend to 20 years and shall also be liable to whipping.’
A number of the parliamentarians and Anwar’s family members have been allowed into the IPK building, while journalists are being confined to the carpark.
A small team of police light-strike force personnel, accompanied by a water-cannon truck, is keeping a watchful eye on supporters who are milling outside the compound.
According to PKR MP Wee Choo Keong, who is inside the building, Wan Azizah and her two daughters – Nurul Izzah and Nurul Nuha – were allowed to see Anwar on the 7th floor at about 2pm.
At 2.35pm, Wan Azizah and her daughters, as well as Anwar’s lawyer Sankara Nair came out of the building.
At 2.40pm, DAP MPs including Lim Kit Siang, Tan Kok Wai, Fong Kui Lun and Anthony Loke also left the building.
Loke said they were only allowed to wait in the canteen, and that all the Pakatan Raykat MPs are heading back to parliament “to raise this issue”.
At 2.50pm, PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar said police had started to question Anwar. He said a vigil will be held outside the building tonight, if Anwar is not released by then.
Lawyer Latheefa Koya said Anwar had been arrested as a suspect, but that police are now trying to record a witness statement from him under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“(At about 2.40pm, lawyer) Sulaiman Abdullah went in with Param Cumaraswamy. Anwar will be represented by three lawyers including Sulaiman. Param is there as an international figure,” she said,
(Param was formerly United Nations special rapporteur for the independence of judges and lawyers.)
In a blog-post at 2.36pm, Nurul Izzah wrote: “…The cops who arrested him were Special Squad cops with balaclavas!!!”
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