File photo of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim visite Rh. Lipu Selangau.

File photo of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim visite Rh. Lipu Selangau.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has rejected offers of asylum abroad ahead of a final appeal in October on a sodomy conviction that could see him jailed, a political aide said on Monday.

Anwar was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in March on charges he sodomised a young former male aide, but is free pending a final appeal set for October 28-29.

Anwar, 67, has dismissed the case as fabricated by the government to ruin his political career.

The political aide, who asked not to be named, declined further comment but said that a media report on Monday on the asylum offers was correct.

The Star newspaper quoted Anwar saying he had received several offers by “foreign leaders” to go overseas but would not accept them.

“I met up with a few foreign leaders who advised me to go overseas to escape a possible prison sentence. At my age, they say they cannot imagine seeing me behind bars,” Anwar was quoted as saying.

The story did not specify which countries Anwar was speaking of.

The accusation surfaced shortly after Anwar led a three-party alliance to unprecedented electoral gains in 2008. — AFP