Anwar decides not to sue Yusoff over sexual assault claims

Anwar Ibrahim says he won’t be suing Muhammed Yusoff Rawther who accused him of sexual assault.

PETALING JAYA: Anwar Ibrahim will not sue Muhammed Yusoff Rawther over the latter’s claim accusing the PKR president of sexual assault, in a surprising about-turn despite earlier vowing to clear his name.

Anwar’s lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said he advised his client not to pursue the suit in view of a separate suit filed by Anwar’s political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak last Friday against Yusoff, who was a research assistant at Anwar’s office in Petaling Jaya.

Ramkarpal said the decision was also due to the solicitor-general’s decision not to pursue a criminal case over Yusoff’s police report, in which he alleged that Anwar had sexually assaulted him in October 2018.

“It is now unnecessary to pursue the said proposed defamation suit as the good name of Anwar Ibrahim has been cleared as a result of the SG’s said decision,” Ramkarpal said in a statement.

He further said Anwar had only wanted to clear his name but “has no interest in monetary compensation which may be awarded as a result of the said proposed defamation suit”.

“As such, there is no longer any purpose in filing the said proposed defamation suit which would take a considerable amount of time and involve unnecessary costs,” said Ramkarpal.

On Jan 17, days after Solicitor-General Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek cleared Anwar, Yusoff said he welcomed the PKR chief to sue him over his claims of sexual assault, which were contained in a statutory declaration issued by Yusoff.

“Anwar wants to sue me? Bring it on,” Yusoff had told reporters in a press conference with his lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

Yusoff had lodged a police report against Anwar, resulting in a probe under Section 354 of the Penal Code, which deals with using criminal force to outrage a person’s modesty.

The Port Dickson MP has rejected the allegations.

In deciding not to pursue criminal charges against Anwar, Engku Nor Faizah, on behalf of Attorney-General Tommy Thomas who recused himself from the case, said there were “contradictions of material facts” in Yusoff’s claims.

“We also found there is insufficient evidence to prosecute on the reports lodged, based on the evidence available in the investigation papers,” she said.