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World - Asia/Pacific

Report reveals brutal extent of Malaysian official's beating

Anwar
A bruised Anwar is shown in this picture taken by the police a week after his beating  

April 5, 1999
Web posted at: 2:20 p.m. EST (1920 GMT)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (CNN) -- Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister whose five month trial on corruption and sodomy charges has shaken the foundations of Malaysia, received a famous black eye the night of his arrest in September from then police chief Abdul Rahim Noor.

Few, however, realized the extent of Anwar's injuries, until CNN obtained, from sources close to Anwar, pictures taken by the police a week after his beating.

The doctors who requested the photos say they depict blood clots caused by trauma on the upper and lower eyelids, trauma to the left forehead, a laceration on the inside of the upper lip, and various bruises and swelling.

The medical report, also acquired by CNN, said Anwar was hit by a blunt object at least four times on the head and neck, most probably punched and slapped at least twice.

Rahim told a royal commission investigating the beating that he slapped Anwar twice in his cell but couldn't remember whether he delivered any other physical attacks.

The evidence suggests he or someone else did. Anwar's lawyers say Rahim should be prosecuted for attempted murder, but it is now up to the commission to submit their recommendations to Malaysia's king.

Meanwhile, the fallout could haunt Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who fired his former protege in September when he refused to resign.

Anwar's arrest in September came soon after he led 30,000 anti-Mahathir demonstrators through the capital.

Azizah Ismail, Anwar's wife, announced Sunday a new political party to challenge the government. The symbol is a blue and white eye, representing Anwar's plight in jail -- and the party's struggle for political reforms.

"It's a symbol of our struggle for justice itself, the 'eye' that seeks justice," she said.

Elections are scheduled for April 2000, but could take place earlier.

In the unlikely event that Anwar is found not guilty when his verdict is announced April 14, he still faces six other charges, all of which he denies.

CNNfn Correspondent Lisa Barron contributed to this report.


RELATED STORIES:
Wife of jailed Malaysian official forms opposition party
April 4, 1999
Public hearings to probe alleged beatings of Malaysia's Anwar
February 21, 1999
Anwar says prosecution lawyers in cahoots with his enemies
February 12, 1999
Judge orders Malaysia's Anwar to enter defense
January 30, 1999
Malaysian Prime Minister under pressure over police force
January 9, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia
Malaysia - general information
Welcome To The Star Online Malaysia
History of Malaysia
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