A Malaysian court has sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail after overturning his acquittal on sodomy charges.
Mr Anwar led the opposition to its strongest ever performance in the May 2013 general elections.
While homosexual acts are illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia, very few people are ever prosecuted.
Mr Anwar has always maintained the charges were part of a political smear campaign.
The court decision will affect Mr Anwar’s plans to compete in a key by-election in the state of Selangor this month, reports say.
A victory for Mr Anwar would mean he could become Selangor’s chief minister – widely seen as a powerful post.
The court said Anwar could remain free on bail while he appeals against the verdict to the country’s highest court, AP news agency reported.
“All over again, after 15 years, they want to put me in the lockup and that is why they are rushing,” Mr Anwar said after his acquittal was