NOT SO FAST, KHAIRY! COURT BARS USE OF ANWAR’S CONVICTIONS TO DEFEND DEFAMATION CASE

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar today failed in his bid to refer to Anwar Ibrahim’s previous convictions for abuse of power and Sodomy II as part of his defence in the former opposition leader’s defamation suit.

Khairy’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had applied to pose questions regarding court judgments on the two cases, along with Anwar’s acquittal of Sodomy I charge by the Federal Court in 2004.

Justice Azizul Azmi Adnan said the court is bound by the Court of Appeal’s ruling on Section 43 of the Evidence Act, which stipulates that criminal matters cannot be brought in a civil trial.

The judge said that it may seem a little strange to observers but the court is bound by it as it is to interpret the law, unless due change by the lawmakers are made.

Anwar’s counsel Sivarasa Rasiah had objected to Muhammad Shafee’s questions, citing the previous rulings on Section 43, while Muhammad Shafee cited the case of Anwar versus S Nallakaruppan where the latter was allowed to amend his defence to cite those cases.

The RM100 million defamation suit against Khairy followed the latter’s “main belakang” remark in political ceramah at Lembah Pantai.

Anwar argued that the phrase meant that he is a homosexual, had low morals, had the capability to do crime and vice.

Earlier, in replying to questions from Shafee, Anwar told the court he decided to file the suit after reading what was reported in Malaysiakini and after watching a video published by the news portal.

Shafee: Did you read in Malaysiakini first or watch the video?

Anwar: I read Malaysiakini first and then watched the video and made the decision (to sue).

Shafee: Datuk Seri did not file a suit against Malaysiakini in this matter?

Anwar: Yes.

Shafee: Did you send a letter of demand to Malaysiakini?
Anwar: No as Malaysiakini gave an opportunity for me to explain. Malaysiakini gives an opportunity for someone to be criticised and carry an explanation which is not given by other local media.

Shafee: Did Malaysiakini give you the space?

Anwar: Yes in a press conference where I said the statement is slander and Malaysiakini reported it.

Shafee: We tried to find this article (on the denial) but we cannot find it, can you show it to us?

Anwar: I do not remember. But my statement that I would take action was carried by Malaysiakini.

– M’kini

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