KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court was packed with party colleagues and family members of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday at the hearing of the former's defamation suit against Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
Among those present in court were Anwar's wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as well as Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali and Batu MP Tian Chua.
Anwar was approached by his wife and children as soon as he was brought to the courtroom from court lockup at about 8.48am.
There was significant police presence in the vicinity of the Jalan Duta court complex as Anwar made his first appearance outside prison since beginning his five-year sentence exactly a week ago.
Supporters, who were supposed to gather outside the court complex in a show of solidarity for the imprisoned Opposition Leader, were, however, nowhere to be seen as at 9.30am.
Anwar will give his testimony before High Court Judicial Commissioner Siti Khadijah S. Hassan Badjenid on allegations that he had offered RM100mil for 10 Sabah Barisan Nasional MPs to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat.
The trial began on Aug 25, last year and ended on Dec 26 after the defendant's last witness - Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi - gave his evidence.
On May 27, 2009, Anwar had sued Anifah in his personal and official capacities, claiming that the minister had linked his name to an alleged offer of a top Cabinet post.
The plaintiff claimed that the words uttered by Anifah implied that he was a dishonest person.
Last Tuesday, the Federal Court upheld Anwar's conviction and five-year prison sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.
The Opposition Leader is being held at the Sungai Buloh prison.