SHAH ALAM: Judicial commissioner Jamhirah Ali has recused herself from presiding over a RM150 million defamation suit filed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad against Anwar Ibrahim.
Jamhirah disclosed that she is related to Anwar’s solicitor, Alliff Benjamin Suhaimi.
“It will serve the interests of justice to recuse (myself) to avoid any conflict,” she said during online case management this afternoon.
Mahathir’s lawyer Rafique Rashid Ali said the application to recuse Jamhirah was made by Anwar’s counsel.
“We did not object to the recusal,” said Rafique, who appeared with Akif Rusli.
Lawyers Mathew Thomas Phillip and Phoebe Loi represented Anwar in today’s proceedings.
Rafique said another case management will be held on July 21 pending the appointment of a new judge to take over the case.
Mahathir filed the suit in May over statements the prime minister allegedly made calling Mahathir a racist and saying he had enriched his family while in office.
He said the allegations eroded his status as a statesman and former prime minister.
He wants Anwar to retract all defamatory statements made against him and published both on mainstream and social media.
Mahathir said Anwar’s alleged defamatory statements were intended to dent his image among members of the public as they were viewed and heard by a wide spectrum of people.
Anwar, in his defence, said Mahathir is lacking in reputation and credibility.
He also said Mahathir’s suit was an abuse of the court’s process as it was filed with an ulterior purpose and motive.