Anwar loses defamation case against Anifah

anwar-ibrahim,anifah-amanPUTRAJAYA: Former parliamentary opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim lost his appeal on Monday on a RM100 million defamation lawsuit against Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.

A Court of Appeal panel, led by Justice Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, dismissed Anwar’s appeal. It said the case had no merits.

Justices Abdul Rahman Sebli and Hasnah Hashim were the other judges on the panel.

The panel ordered Anwar to pay cost of RM100,000 to Anifah. The Court also allowed the Foreign Minister’s appeal for higher cost.

The High Court dismissed Anwar’s RM100 million lawsuit last year against Anifah.

The court ruled Malaysian courts have no jurisdiction to try cases that take place outside Malaysia.

Anifah was then awarded cost of RM20,000.

Anwar sued Anifah in 2009 for allegedly defaming him during a press conference in Washington, United States.

He accused the minister of having painted him as a person who was unfit to hold political or any other post, and a danger to Malaysian society.

Anifah apparently told reporters in Washington that he was offered a deputy prime minister’s position if he brought along Sabah MPs to help topple the Federal Government.

Anwar was represented by lawyer Razlan Hadri Zulkifli and J. Leela.

Shafee Abdullah represented Anifah.

During submissions, Razlan said the High Court had erred when the judge ruled in favour of Anifah’s defence of disclaimer which he reportedly used during the press conference.

“He testified that what he told the press conference was only for the knowledge of those present,” he said.

As a senior minister, he added, Anifah should not have said so if he knew his statement would be published.

Shafee argued the High Court was correct in dismissing the suit.