Khairy’s leave application over Anwar’s defamation suit fixed for Nov 7

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has fixed Nov 7 to hear former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s leave application against the Court of Appeal’s decision to strike out his appeal in a defamation suit brought by Anwar Ibrahim.

Lawyer J Leela, appearing for Anwar, said the date was fixed before deputy court registrar Sabreena Bakar alias Bahari during a case management today.

“Lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah will argue the case for Anwar in place of R Sivarasa who is now a deputy minister,” she told reporters.

Lawyer Sarah Abishegam meanwhile appeared for Khairy.

On Feb 19, a three-member bench chaired by Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat revoked Khairy’s appeal saying his notice of appeal was “ambiguous and uncertain”.

Tengku Maimun, who sat with justices Zaleha Yusof and Zabariah Yusof, said the bench was bound by a Federal Court ruling that an appellant must file separate notices if there was more than one appeal.

The ruling resulted in the Court of Appeal maintaining the RM150,000 in damages awarded to Anwar on Sept 29 last year.

Khairy was then appealing against justice Azizul Azmi Adnan’s refusal to allow him to amend his statement of defence after trial and for finding him liable and ordering the quantum of damages.

The former youth and sports minister had only filed a single notice of appeal. Anwar responded by filing an application to annul the notice as it was defective.

Azizul had said Khairy’s “main belakang” statement in 2008 had a sexual connotation meant to attack Anwar and dismissed Khairy’s defence of fair comment and qualified privilege.

“The allegations are serious and are capable of bearing a defamatory meaning,” he said.

Azizul also ordered Khairy to pay Anwar RM60,000 in costs.

On March 7, 2008, Anwar filed a suit against Khairy and demanded RM100 million in damages, alleging that Khairy, then the Umno Youth vice-chief, had uttered defamatory words against him at a ceramah in Lembah Pantai on Feb 20, 2008.

Anwar claimed that a phrase used by Khairy, “main belakang”, suggested that he was a homosexual and a person of low moral character.