Monday, June 30, 2008

Ambassador to be summoned to Wisma Putra

The Star : Monday June 30, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Turkish Ambassador Barlas Ozener will be summoned to Wisma Putra today to explain why PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was allowed to seek refuge in the embassy.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who disclosed this to The Star, explained that Anwar did not qualify for any sort of international or diplomatic protection as he was being sought for a criminal investigation.

“If he is evading any sort of preventive law like the ISA, then it is a different matter. But he is being sought for an investigation involving sodomy, which is a crime under the Penal Code.

“When you run away from the law, it is not the same as facing some political persecution. As such, the embassy cannot grant him any sort of protection.

“We will ask the ambassador to reconsider (granting Anwar refuge) as it is meddling in Malaysia's internal affairs,” he said, adding that the Government also wanted to know why Anwar had gone to that particular embassy.

Anwar released a statement yesterday, saying he was grateful to Ozener for extending an invitation for him to seek refuge within the embassy.

To this, Dr Rais said what the Turkish Embassy had done was “very questionable”, adding that the embassy should not be a hindrance to the investigation process.

He said Anwar could have resorted to such a measure in order to attract international attention to his situation, adding: “Knowing him, it is very possible that he wants to gain glaring attention.

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