Talk of an alleged affair between a former Syariah chief judge and a divorcee has raised eyebrows in the legal fraternity, especially within the Department of Syariah Judiciary.
However, the matter finally came to a settlement before the Shah Alam High Court on Dec 7 after the woman apologised.
This followed a defamation suit filed by the former chief judge of Penang Abdul Walid Abu Hassan, 52, against Yuhasni Mohd Yussof, a 38-year-old mother of five, in October this year.
The suit was filed after Yuhasni registered a complaint with the then chief judge of the Department of Syariah Judiciary Ibrahim Lembut, who is also the director-general of the department.
The chief judge of the Department of Syariah Judiciary heads the syariah judiciary divisions in all states.
Yuhasni’s complaint against Walid led to the former Penang judge being transferred out within 24 hours. This information was in the court documents filed with the Shah Alam High Court, which was sighted by Malaysiakini.
Yuhasni also made a statutory declaration describing the alleged affair she had with the former judge at a hotel.
Also in her defence to the suit, she claimed that the judge had contacted her via Facebook sometime in February this year and she had given him her phone number after the two chatted online.
Yuhasni claimed that she and Abdul Walid began communicating via text messages and the two met at a hotel in Georgetown, Penang, sometime in March where the former judged had booked a room.
In her defence and statutory declaration, which contained lurid details, the woman further claimed that upon entering the hotel room she saw the judge clad in a shirt and towel.
Yuhasni alleged that Abdul Walid then pushed her on to the bed and she had attempted to resist his advances. However, the mother of five claimed that she was unable to resist him and the two had sex that afternoon and evening.
After that, she claimed the judge left the room and the next day when she left the hotel, she was told by the hotel staff that the former judge had paid for the room.
According to the woman, they continued to have conversations and the relationship blossomed. However, things turned sour a month later.
Screenshots and settlement
Yuhasni also submitted screenshots of her alleged conversations with the former judge as evidence in her defence and claimed to have met Ibrahim (chief judge of the Department of Syariah Judiciary) sometime in the middle of the year after calling his office and complaining about the matter.
The woman claimed that it was on Ibrahim’s advice that she prepared a statutory declaration on July 30 and a copy was personally sent to Ibrahim.
She denied spreading the statutory declaration on the alleged affair and claimed that she was protected by the defence of justification, absolute and qualified privilege.
Yuhasni alleged that after Walid had abused his position as a chief judge and violated Section 23 and 24 of the Penang Syariah Criminal Enactment, he was deemed not qualified to hold the post of chief judge in any state.
In his statement of claim, Walid denied the allegations and claimed that an anonymous letter and Yuhasni’s statutory declaration had defamed him.
He said this affected his position as a senior government officer and disciplinary action was taken against him by the Public Services Department (PSD), the chief secretary to the government and his department.
Following this, the former judge sought an apology from Yuhasni in his RM1 million defamation suit. He also wanted her to make another statutory declaration which must be forwarded to the chief secretary of the government and PSD.
It is understood that Walid also filed a qazaf complaint (bearing false witness).
However, the woman, not wanting to prolong the matter, decided to apologise to the plaintiff in open court during mediation.
The settlement was recorded before Justice M Gunalan at the Shah Alam High Court on Dec 7, where Yuhasni referred to an anonymous letter and the statutory declaration – the subject of Walid’s claim – and acknowledged that the statement had caused anxiety and shame to the plaintiff.
“I acknowledge that I had made the statement without thinking of the consequences. Hence, I apologise and express regret for the mental anguish it had caused Walid,” she said.
In the settlement recorded and sighted via a file search yesterday, Walid also said he would withdraw his qazaf action dated Dec 6.
A lawyer familiar with the case, who wanted to remain anonymous, confirmed with Malaysiakini regarding the apology and settlement but maintained that Yuhasni did not retract her statutory declaration.