I’m the victim not Anwar, Saiful tells Mahathir

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PETALING JAYA: The man at the centre of the sodomy charge against Anwar Ibrahim today questioned Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s about-turn in sympathising with the jailed PKR leader, after the former prime minister joined calls for Anwar’s release.

Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who in 2008 had alleged that Anwar had sodomised him, took to Facebook to remind the PPBM chairman of how he was welcomed when he paid a visit to Mahathir’s office at the Perdana Foundation, in Putrajaya, just three years ago.

“In October 2014, Tun Mahathir had expressed his sympathy towards me as a victim when I visited him at his Yayasan Perdana office, with my wife and my newborn son.

“How easily one can forgo principles and meaning of justice when it serves a desperate political objective,” Saiful, 32, said in his FB post earlier today.

Saiful’s visit came just four months before Anwar lost his final appeal at the Federal Court in February 2015. The PKR de facto leader had earlier been convicted for sodomy by the Court of Appeal in March 2014.

Anwar had always denied the charges brought against him, claiming it was politically motivated.

Yesterday, Mahathir, who sacked Anwar from his cabinet over a similar accusation in 1998, joined US human rights lawyer Kimberley Motley in calling for Anwar’s immediate release.

“Anwar is a political prisoner and has endured more than 34 months in prison. He is scheduled for release in June 2018 and his current medical state is of concern to his family, friends, and people around the world,” they said in a statement following a meeting.

However, Saiful said Mahathir, who now chairs the four-party Pakatan Harapan coalition, was blinded by “power and ambition”.

“Tun Mahathir should know better. I am the real victim of Anwar Ibrahim’s criminal act.

“It is regrettable that Mahathir chose to mischievously politicise a criminal case that has already been decided by the court of law.

“It’s true that in politics, there’s no permanent friends or enemies, just interest. And that interest, unfortunately serving for the worse, trumping justice, truth, over power.”