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Anwar faces welter of charges from Malaysian police

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 (AFP) - Malaysian police said Saturday they have extended their investigation into ousted deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

Inspector General Abdul Rahim Noor said "four new police reports" involving Anwar had been registered. Police also announced they were acting on a sedition complaint against Anwar over a television interview after his sacking.

But Anwar, who was dismissed Wednesday as deputy prime minister and finance minister, said he had been informed of 10 complaints in all and would not be surprised to face 70 charges in court.

Noor called the news conference to defend police handling of the Anwar case.

He said the new reports include interfering with a police investigation, abuse of power and interfering with evidence.

Police are already investigating allegations of sexual impropriety and endangering national security made in affadavits lodged at the High Court.

After Noor's press conference, Criminal Investigation Department director Yaacub Mohamed Amin said police were acting on a sedition complaint over the television interview.

Yaacub said "the statement made by Anwar had seditious elements to incite hatred or erroneous feelings against the government of Malaysia," the Bernama news agency reported.

Anwar said during the interview that he had been "a victim of a conspiracy of the highest level of the government," Bernama said.

Anwar, who was sacked after a political struggle with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, made the conspiracy claims as he denied the original accusations against him.

The police chief said there was proof that Anwar "tried to interfere with the police investigation."

"If it is needed we will expose this. We are ready to do this for justice," Noor said.

Noor hinted that charges were likely, but the decision was up to the deputy public prosecutor. Details were "classified and I am bound by the Official Secrets Act. You will hear them in court."

Commenting on the investigation, Anwar said he knew of 10 complaints against him. "By the time they decide to take the charges to court there could be 70 charges," he told reporters. "I hope I can get justice."

The police chief also hit back at Anwar's allegations of a conspiracy.

"It is not true to say that we are not professional, that we are one-sided, that we are involved in any conspiracy."

Noor also commented on accusations in a book, against which Anwar has sought an injunction, that the former deputy premier fathered a child out of wedlock.

The inspector general said "Anwar lied when said he took a DNA test in the country" over the allegation.

Anwar says he took two DNA tests, one in Malaysia and one abroad. The overseas test showed he was not the father of the child involved while the results of the other test are not yet clear.

NSTPi