Thursday, July 17, 2008

Anwar: I was stripped naked and measured

Anwar makes a point at his press conference at his house in Bukit Segambut. Sitting on his left is his wife Datuk Dr Wan Azizah Ismail. On his right is his lawyer R. Sivarasa. Standing on far left is Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was stripped naked, had his private parts examined and some other body parts measured during a medical check-up at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital last night.

He also alleged that he was detained in a police lock-up "fit for a dangerous criminal'' and used a towel brought by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail as his mattress.

Despite this humiliation and hardship, Anwar was in a defiant mood today, adamant that the government had no case against him.

"I'm so confident that I will overcome this case if it is conducted professionally. I'm pleading to the Prime Minister to ensure this investigation is conducted professionally and that we can be done with it," said Anwar, drawing applause and cheers from hundreds of his supporters who were standing behind an already large entourage of journalists at the press conference.

He insisted that the attempt by the Barisan Nasional to derail the Pakatan Rakyat's march to power will fail and pledged to continue speaking at political rallies around the country.

"We should go on. The issue is not Anwar. The issue is the state of governance and the economic management of the country... Despite the government's plan to derail me, Pakatan remains strong," he added.

During the press conference, he touched on his detention, saying that he was questioned for almost five hours yesterday and 30 minutes this morning before he was released. He blasted the police for keeping him overnight.

"Still it was a blatant lie by the police when they refused to release me last night despite their assurance. Their argument was that I did not give my blood sample. Why is giving my blood sample a condition for police bail? It's already in their possession. They've seen my private parts. What more do they want?"

He was especially upset with CID director Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin, saying that his behaviour reminded him of the former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor, who beat him up while in custody a decade ago.

Anwar wanted to know why the police did not investigate allegations that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in the Altantuya Shaariibuu case.

With a stern look, Anwar said he was prepared to be investigated but would never allow himself to be intimidated.