KUALA LUMPUR: Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today lamented in court that, as a prisoner, he has no freedom to obtain relevant documents regarding a police interview conducted in the Sungai Buloh prison two years ago.
In testifying at his lawsuit against former political opponent Mazlan Ismail of Umno, broadcaster Sistem Televisyen Malaysia (TV3) and publisher Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd in the High Court, he said he was unable to ask for anything from the police.
“I am now in prison and I am not a free man. I do not have an office in Sungai Buloh like I used to,” he said, in response to TV3’s lawyer Liew Teck Huat.
Liew had asked whether he could provide any documents that he had been asked to sign by the police, to the court, in his defamation case.
Anwar is currently serving a five-year jail sentence for sodomy. He is expected to be released on June 8, after a remission.
Anwar said a police officer only met him two years after he and the late Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh had lodged a police report at the Jinjang police station on Aug 4, 2013 over statements by Mazlan that were published by Utusan and aired on TV3. The interview happened after he was imprisoned.
He claimed he had lodged the report as Mazlan’s allegations implied that he had bribed the judiciary and prosecutors.
Mazlan, a former Umno candidate for the Permatang Pauh seat, at a press conference on Aug 2, 2013 claimed he had received over 6,000 anonymous letters alleging that Anwar had paid Karpal more than RM50 million since 2008 as legal fees and bribes to judges and prosecutors.
TV3 aired Mazlan’s press conference on the same day while Utusan published the article on Aug 3.
Anwar claimed the statement by Mazlan carried by TV3 and Utusan implied that he was a politician who lacked integrity, was of low morals and was unfit to hold public office as he allegedly offered bribes.
He is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.
Anwar also said Utusan did not contact him to get his response on Mazlan’s allegations.
“That never happened,” he said, responding to Utusan’s lawyer Azhar Arman Ali’s question as to whether any Utusan journalist had contacted him on the matter.
The hearing continues on Jan 25 before Judicial Commissioner Faizah Jamaludin.