Anwar sues aide over sodomy claim


R. Sivarasa, one of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers, talks to reporters at the High Court after Anwar had filed the lawsuit. — AP pic

UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, facing sodomy allegations for the second time in 10 years, has got his lawyers to file a suit in the High Court today against former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan for allegedly lodging a false and malicious report.

Anwar, holed up in the Turkish embassy here as he claimed he faces death threats, is fighting to clear his name against the fresh sodomy allegations. He said the complaint is politically motivated.

“The plaintiff did not and never engaged in sodomy with the defendant,” Anwar said in his suit filed by solicitors Messrs Ranjit Ooi & Robert Low at the High Court Registry in Kuala Lumpur.

The 23-year-old Saiful, who is in hospital now, filed a report on Saturday, saying Anwar had sodomised him in a Damansara condominium on June 26. Police are investigating the complaint.

In his suit, Anwar contends the police report had “an ulterior and a collateral purpose to harm the plaintiff and to destroy the plaintiff politically” as he knew it would receive wide national and international media coverage.

The de facto Opposition leader also said Saiful knew the allegation of sodomy was false but went ahead to lodge a police report using words which meant that Anwar was engaged in unnatural sexual behaviour, was a homosexual, had commited a crime pursuant to sections 377A and 377C of the Penal code 1976 and a heinous act contrary to the Muslim faith.

Anwar called for the court to restrain Saiful as he had suffered loss and damage, and is also claiming for damages for abuse and vexatious use of process, malicious falsehood, libel, aggravated damages, exemplary damages, costs and other relief deemed proper by the courts.

Meanwhile, officials from Anwar’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have postponed their bid to lodge a police report against Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail for alleged misconduct and fabricating evidence in the abuse of power and sodomy cases in 1998 and 1999.

Anwar, who led opposition parties to win 82 parliamentary seats in the March general election, first faced sodomy charges in 1998 after he fell out with his then boss, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He has long said his sacking as deputy premier, convictions on corruption and sodomy charges and subsequent imprisonment were all aimed at preventing him from challenging Dr Mahathir for power.

He served the corruption conviction, but was released in September 2004 after the Federal Court overturned the guilty verdict in the sodomy case. Anwar said the latest accusations against him represented an attempt by the government to prevent his Opposition coalition from wresting power in Parliament.

Meanwhile Dr Mahathir said it was up to the government to decide on the sodomy allegation against Anwar.

“It is a new case. We will see what the police are going to say, what the government will say,” he said yesterday.

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