Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was on Friday found guilty of sodomising his former aide by the Court of Appeal, reversing an acquittal by a lower court two years ago.

The three-member appellate court said the Kuala Lumpur high court judge had erred in doubting the integrity of DNA samples presented by the prosecution during the trial.

“We find the judge was misdirected on the issue of sample integrity,” said appellate Justice Balia Yusof, adding that the decision by the three justices was unanimous.

Sodomy carries a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment and caning in Malaysia. The court has not passed sentence on Anwar, 66.

The case stemmed from the accusation by a former aide that Anwar sodomized him in an upscale condominium in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in 2008.

It was the second time Anwar was accused of sodomy. In 1999, another court was found him guilty of sodomising his former driver and sentenced him to six years in jail, but the conviction was overturned in 2004.

Anwar’s wife Wan Azizah and their three children, who were present in court, were seen crying after hearing the verdict.

A crowd of Anwar’s supporters gathered outside the court and chanted “Reforms!” and “Free Anwar!”

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