KUALA LUMPUR: Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim denied in the High Court today that he had bribed the judiciary and attorney-general’s chambers (AGC), as claimed by his former political opponent, Dr Mazlan Ismail.
Anwar stated this when reading his witness statement before Judicial Commissioner Faizah Jamaluddin at the hearing of his defamation suit against Mazlan and two Umno-linked media companies.
He said he was shocked when he first heard the accusations and had issued a statement to deny them.
“No, the allegations are not true and they were used to attack my political career then,” he said, responding to questions from his counsel whether Mazlan’s claims were true.
After reading his witness statement, Anwar’s lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo sought a trial adjournment stating Anwar had to go for a medical checkup.
Anwar told the judge he was supposed to be hospitalised this week.
“Out of respect for the courts, I attended both the hearings here and in the Court of Appeal and skipped hospital,” he told Faizah when the court asked him if he was feeling unwell.
The case was initially set for hearing from June 13-16.
Anwar sued Mazlan, Sistem Television Malaysia and Utusan Melayu in October 2015 for claiming he had bribed the judiciary and AGC.
He claimed Mazlan’s statement, carried by TV3 (operated by Sistem Televisyen Malaysia) and Utusan, had implied that he is a person who is not ethical or professional, dishonest, a liar and immoral.
Anwar is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages.
Anwar and the late DAP national chairman Karpal Singh had also filed a police report against Mazlan in 2013.
During a press conference on Aug 2, 2013, Mazlan had alleged that he had received more than 6,000 letters sent to his house containing allegations involving Anwar and Karpal.
Saying that he did not know who had sent them, Mazlan said each letter was eight pages long and contained allegations as well as copies of savings account numbers of various banks and amounts allegedly belonging to Anwar.
“I believe the individual wants me to be the go-between to expose Anwar’s dealings with Karpal.
“The person wants me to expose that Anwar had paid more than RM50 million via cheques to Karpal since 2008.
“The person had claimed that besides settling legal fees, the amount was also allegedly to bribe judges and prosecutors,” said Mazlan.
Mazlan, an Umno candidate, lost to Anwar by 11,721 votes in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency during the 2013 general election.
Anwar obtained 37,090 votes while Mazlan obtained 25,369 votes.