Verdict Due In Sodomy Trial Of Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim

Hundreds of supporters of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim have gathered outside a Kuala Lumpur court for the verdict in his sodomy trial.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim shows a thumbs-up as he prepares to leaves his residence to the High Court for his sodomy trial verdict in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)Hundreds of supporters of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim have gathered outside a Kuala Lumpur court for the verdict in his sodomy trial.

Mr Anwar, 64, faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of having sex with a former male aide.

He denies the charge, which he says is politically motivated.

Mr Anwar was jailed for sodomy in 2000 - after being sacked as Malaysia's deputy prime minister - but the conviction was later overturned.

Sodomy is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia but very few people are ever prosecuted, reports the BBC's Jennifer Pak from Kuala Lumpur.

The current allegations surfaced just months after elections in 2008, in which he led the opposition to unprecedented gains at the expense of the ruling party.

Hundreds of police and security personnel are also reported to be on the streets around the court.

Ahead of the long-awaited verdict Mr Anwar has been touring the country and holding a series of rallies.

"We pray for the best, that justice will prevail, but we're prepared for the worst," Mr Anwar told the Associated Press news agency on Sunday.

Elections are widely expected to be held later this year and Mr Anwar said he hoped that they would remain the focus.

"Notwithstanding whether I am set free or jailed, the focus should and must be the elections, and the people must decide," he said.