Anwar Ibrahim in appeal against sodomy conviction
Anwar Ibrahim in appeal against sodomy conviction Getty

A leading politician in Malaysia is battling his conviction for sodomy by launching another appeal in a long-running case.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, 66, has opted to press ahead with an application for a top-level review, despite being blocked from appealing the 2008 conviction.

In a legal saga, the verdict against the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia was overturned in 2012, only for the appeal court to overrule that decision last year.

The trial of Ibrahim - who was also arrested for sodomy in 1998 - drew international criticism from rights groups, with Amnesty International claiming it "exposed a pattern of political manipulation of key state institutions including the police, public prosecutor's office and the judiciary."

Making the latest move to clear his name, lawyers for Ibrahim called the conviction a "grave miscarriage of justice." Their nine-page application will be considered by a panel of lawyers.

Ibrahim has been serving time in a jail and has been described as a political prisoner by allies, having been stripped of his political powers.

"We will never surrender," said party colleague Nurul Izzah Anwar.