Anwar’s lawyers fight Saiful’s attempt to use sodomy conviction in defamation suit
Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan who filed a RM50 million defamation suit against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants the High Court to rule in his favour as the former opposition leader has been convicted for sodomy. V Anbalagan of Malaysian Insider reports:
However, Anwar, has taken steps to block that move.
Anwar’s lawyer Latheefa Koya (pic) said they filed an application last week to strike out the grounds put forward by Saiful to convince the court to rule on liability and damages.
“We have served a copy of Anwar’s application to Saiful’s lawyer. They have been given time to reply,” she said after a case management before High Court judge Azizul Azmi Adnan who set the next case management on June 1. The judge had earlier fixed the trial to begin on August 10.
Latheefa said Anwar had taken the position his conviction for the sexual misconduct could not be relied upon in a civil action.”Saiful in his amended statement of claim had pleaded that judgment should be given in his favour because the Federal Court had also found him to be a credible witness,” she said.
Civil lawyers, however, said Anwar would face an uphill task to get the court to dismiss the suit because Saiful need only prove his case on the balance of probability, which is a lower legal burden imposed.
They said the finding of fact that Anwar had committed the offence would also have some bearing on the civil case.
On June 23 last year, Saiful, 30, filed for damages, citing physical trauma and agony since 2008 as a result of being sodomised by Anwar.
In his statement of claim, Saiful said Anwar had accused him of defaming and conspiring against him with his police report alleging sodomy.
Saiful also said he did not lie in the police report about being sodomised by Anwar, and that the last sodomy incident took place at Unit 1151, Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setia Kasih in Kuala Lumpur in 2008.
The former aide said he was looked down on by the community who believed Anwar’s allegations against him, adding that he was also ridiculed on social media.
Anwar in his defence denied sodomising Saiful and said the allegations were false, adding that his former aide had no reasonable cause of action and that the defamation suit was frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
Anwar said in a civil case, the burden of proof rested with Saiful and he relied on the defence of fair comment, absolute and qualified privilege to contest the suit. – May 23, 2015.