March 7, 2014
The United States has followed the trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim closely. The Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal by the High Court on March 7. Mr. Anwar was sentenced to five years in prison, and the court released him on bail until appeals are exhausted.
The decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar and his trial have raised a number of concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts. In this high-profile case, it is critical for Malaysia to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently, and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy and judiciary.
The United States and Malaysia have a strong partnership and in the spirit of that relationship, U.S. officials on many occasions have raised with the Government of Malaysia our concerns about the trial of Mr. Anwar. We will continue to follow the case closely.