KUALA LUMPUR – Despite him being the son-in-law of a former prime minister, Khairy Jamaluddin told the High Court that he had never viewed himself as kebal (invincible).

“I did not view myself as such,” said the Youth and Sports Minister, who was recalled to testify in a RM100mil defamation suit filed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against him.

Anwar, in his witness statement in court on Thursday, said Khairy had thought of himself as “invincible”, influential and with power in the Prime Minister’s Department due to his status as the son-in-law of the then prime minister.

Anwar filed a defamation suit against Khairy on March 7, 2008, alleging the then Umno Youth deputy chief had made defamatory remarks against him during a speech at a political event.
Anwar also said the defamatory words, among others, meant that he was involved in activities that were against Islam, was not of good character and unfit for political or other positions.

Replying to a question yesterday by his lead counsel Tan Sri Muham­mad Shafee Abdullah, Khairy said he did not hold any position when he made the allegedly defamatory speech on Feb 19, 2008.

Asked if he felt protected because of his relationship to the then prime minister, he replied: “Of course not.

Khairy said Anwar’s witness statement, which contended that he was influential and that he had a special office on the fourth floor of the Prime Minister’s Department then, was “factually erroneous.”

“I am no longer working at the PM’s Department,” he said.

Asked by Anwar’s lead counsel R. Sivarasa, he said he was appointed as a deputy principal private secretary to then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2003 but he resigned about a year later.

To another question by Sivarasa, Khairy said he did not attend Anwar’s sodomy trial but had read its judgments and media reports.

He said an event was organised in Kelana Jaya, Selangor, merely to explain the court decision on Sod­omy II case and rebut criticisms by political foes that Anwar’s sodomy charge was a political conspiracy.

“We thought it was important to explain its context, dispute the political conspiracy and that this was not about revenge,” Khairy told the packed courtroom.

Later, Anwar testified that Khairy had malicious intent in giving the speech defaming him that day.

Khairy had used sexual connotations to imply there was misconduct on his part, he said.

The hearing before Justice Azizul Azmi Adnan will continue on Monday.