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Malaysian police say political leader behind videos

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIAN police on Thursday said a leader of a political party was behind videos purporting to show a Cabinet minister, seen as a potential successor to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, engaged in sex with another man.

They did not identify the party or the leader.

The sex tapes, allegedly of Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, were widely distributed to journalists and politicians via WhatsApp last month.

Sodomy is a crime in Malaysia and Anwar Ibrahim, who Dr Mahathir has named as his successor, spent about a decade in jail under the law on what he said were trumped up charges.

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Mr Azmin, who is said to be close to Dr Mahathir, said the videos were a "nefarious plot" to end his career.

"Results of (police) investigation reveal that there is a wicked alliance that is masterminded by a leader of a political party with the intention to shame and destroy the reputation of a certain individual," police chief Abdul Hamid Bador said in a statement.

Mr Abdul Hamid said the video was probably authentic but that facial recognition tests were "not able to associate the perpetrator in the video with the individual in question".

The statement did not identify the individual but the headline of the statement referred to the sex video "allegedly involving an individual bearing likeness to a senior cabinet minister".

The video was produced by parties that were hired with"hundreds of thousands of ringgit", Mr Abdul Hamid said, referring to Malaysia's currency.

Mr Anwar has said it was "slander" to suggest he had anything to do with the leaked footage. REUTERS

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