Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Monday launched a spirited defence in court against the sodomy charge against him, terming it a "blatant and vicious lie" framed by Prime Minister Najib Razak to send him into "political oblivion".

Taking the stand for the first time, 64-year-old Anwar outrightly rejected the sodomy allegations levelled by a former aide.

"I state, in no uncertain terms, that I have never had any sexual relations with the complainant, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Saiful's allegation is a blatant and vicious lie and will be proved to be so," 64-year-old Anwar told the High Court here on Monday.

"This entire process is nothing but a conspiracy by Prime Minister Najib Razak to send me into political oblivion by attempting once again to put me behind bars," he said.

Anwar, a father of six children, gave his evidence from the dock as his defence on the charge of sodomising Saiful began in the courtroom packed with journalists and foreign diplomats.

The opposition leader, in his statement, started off with his experience in his 1998 sodomy trial, in which he was convicted and jailed, and categorically denied the charge against him.

Anwar added that the circumstances were so compelling that he elected to make a statement from the dock.

He claimed he has been deprived of a level playing field and subjected to inequality of arms vis-a-vis the prosecution.

"They can do all they want to sully my reputation and threaten me with... jail. They won't be able to cow me. The truth will prevail," he said.

(Agencies)