Malaysian Opposition Leader Jailed

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian police arrested opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on suspicion that he sodomized a male aide, a charge that could send him to jail for 20 years and cripple his campaign to bring down the country's weakened government.

Anwar dismissed the accusation as a "malicious" fabrication of a political conspiracy by the same ruling establishment that had jailed him for sodomy and corruption a decade ago.

U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia James Keith said in a statement that the arrest of a prominent opposition figure, "raises serious questions and concerns."

The arrest was likely to exacerbate the political tensions that have been running high since Anwar's three-party People's Alliance coalition made unprecedented gains in March 8 general elections, whittling away the ruling National Front coalition's strength in the parliament.