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Court dismisses Anwar’s lawsuit against govt

The High Court today struck out former Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawsuit against the government relating to his conviction for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — The High Court today struck out former Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawsuit against the government relating to his conviction for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Justice Datin Azizah Nawawi allowed the government’s application to strike out Anwar’s originating summons and ruled that the plaintiff’s case was groundless and without any supporting evidence.

Anwar was also ordered to pay costs of RM10,000 to the government, the sole defendant in the suit.

Azizah noted in her judgment that the plaintiff was making a bare allegation when he claimed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak paid RM9.5 million to Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (to lead the prosecution in the case).

“He (Anwar) made reference to two payments being made on September 11, 2013 and February 17, 2014 but there is nothing to support this allegation in the plaintiff’s affidavit,” she said.

The judge also said Anwar “had not deposed the basis of his allegation of the RM9.5 million payments and had not given any supporting document to support his bare allegation”.

“The foundation of an originating summons is the alleged payment by PM Najib to the prosecutor and this is not supported at all. Therefore, I find that the application of the plaintiff is not supported by any evidence and the application is groundless and must be dismissed,” she said.

The judge further noted, to support the allegation of the RM9.5 million by the prime minister, the plaintiff filed an application for discovery and inspection of documents against Najib and Muhammad Shafee to produce statements of accounts.

“The ground supporting the application for discovery is that the full particulars of the payments aforesaid are with the sole knowledge of the said Najib and the said Muhammad Shafee.

“It is incumbent on these two persons to make full discovery to this court to arrive at a decision that is in accordance with law. This clearly shows that the plaintiff is seeking evidence to support his allegation on the RM9.5 million payments,” she said.

Azizah said the court also considered opinion that the net effect of Anwar’s application was to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court; however, she said, the court (High Court) simply had no jurisdiction to do so.

The government filed the application to strike out Anwar’s suit last July 11 on grounds that it was petty, had no cause of action and an abuse of the court process.

Anwar filed the originating summons on June 9, 2017, claiming that he did not get a fair trial in the appeal against his sodomy conviction.

He said his guaranteed right under Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution to a fair trial was violated and the findings by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court could not stand, and were null and void.                    

Anwar has also sought a declaration that his conviction by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014 was ultra vires the Federal Constitution and thus null and void. He also wanted an order that the decision by the Federal Court in upholding the Court of Appeal’s decision was ultra vires and therefor null and void.

In his affidavit, Anwar claimed that Muhammad Shafee received RM9.5 million from Najib to lead the prosecution team in the appeal over his sodomy conviction.

 Senior federal counsel Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin, acted on behalf of the government while lawyer N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya represented Anwar.

Surendran later told reporters that they would file an appeal against the decision. — Bernama