Anwar loses defamation suit against foreign minister

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has lost his defamation suit against Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman over the claim of a Cabinet post offered to the latter tied to party-hopping.

In dismissing the claim with RM20,000 (S$6,500) costs, High Court Judicial Commissioner Siti Khadijah S. Hassan Badjenid said Anwar had failed to prove his claim against Anifah.

Present in court were Anwar, his elder brother Rosli and supporters. The offer was allegedly made as bait for AniĀ­fah to switch sides after the 2008 general election.

In her draft copy of the judgment, Siti Khadijah ruled that in this case, the situation was different because the plaintiff did not produce witnesses other than himself.

Siti Khadijah said Anwar had failed to prove that the claim was in the press statement made by Anifah, the defendant, published by The Star on May 16, 2009.

She said although the statement published contained an imputation that had defamed Anwar, he failed to prove that the statement was uttered by Anifah.

She said it was clear that the caution statement by Anifah at the press conference in Washington was "just for the information of the audience here".

"The court views that the caution statement cannot be said as an afterthought. This is because the statement is clearly said in the press conference and it cannot be denied by the plaintiff," she said.