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  Words in the News
  Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, was convicted of charges of abusing his powers of office. We heard from Simon Ingram, the BBC’s Correspondent in Kuala Lumpur, and from Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar Ibrahim's wife.
  Audio Listen to the report in full
Anwar Ibrahim

15th April 1999

The verdict in the longest trial in Malaysian history.

NEWS 1   In passing judgement, Justice Augustine Paul said Anwar Ibrahim had clearly abused his powers of office by directing members of the police special branch to obtain retractions from two individuals who had made allegations of his sexual misconduct. It was a very serious offence, the judge said, for someone occupying such a high office. The six year prison sentence drew brief protests from members of Mr Anwar’s family sitting on the public benches. In a statement to the court, the former deputy prime minister said he’d been dealt a judgement that stank to high heaven. The conviction, he went on, was according to the script written by his political foes in the government.

in passing judgement: in a legal sense, the judge in court passes a judgement or gives a verdict

high office: a term meaning a senior position in government or in an organisation

that stank to high heaven: if something stinks it means it is particularly unpleasant, scandalous or contemptible; to high heaven means to the furthest extreme

according to the script: if something is done according to a script or plan it happens exactly in the way that plan or script says it should

NEWS 2  

The Anwar Ibrahim factor actually opened the eyes and hearts of people and especially the mass movement that has sprung from this situation and this predicament and this tragic event that has revolved around Anwar Ibrahim. But not only him - it goes beyond that. It’s not Anwar Ibrahim the man but the opening of the eyes of the people against whatever is happening.


factor: a factor is something which affects a situation

opened the eyes and hearts: if you open someone's eyes you make them aware of something for the first time; if you open someone's heart you touch their feelings

sprung from this situation: if one thing springs from another, the second thing results from the first

it goes beyond that: the situation has developed into something bigger than simply one man's fight for justice.

    Read about the background in BBC News Online

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