Khairy’s speech did not refer to Anwar’s sodomy case, Shafee tells court

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court May 25, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court May 25, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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PUTRAJAYA, Nov 2 — The Court of Appeal was told today that the speech made by Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar during the 12th General Election campaign in 2008 was referred to the merger or cooperation between the opposition parties for the election and not linked to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case.

Khairy’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the speech employs figurative humour to deliver the message that the alliance between the opposition parties is simply a marriage of convenience.

“Over and over again, the appellant (Khairy) refers to the fact he did not mean any meaning of homosexuality or sexual meaning, which was alleged in Anwar’s suit.

“My client was talking about political parties. You cannot sodomise political parties, that is an act of impossibility. It was spoken in a figurative context,” Muhammad Shafee submitted via teleconferencing from New York in Khairy’s appeal against the High Court’s decision which allowed Anwar’s defamation suit.

On October 25, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed an application by Muhammad Shafee who is facing charges of money laundering and submitting incorrect tax returns, for the temporary release of his impounded passport to enable him to go to New York to manage the settling in of his son’s higher studies.

The lawyer further submitted that the appellant was talking about the merger or cooperation between the opposition parties, namely PAS, PKR and DAP for the pure purposes of the election.

“He (Khairy) was comparing such arrangement to a marriage of convenience or contractual marriage which basically is not meant to last and is done only to achieve a specific short term temporary purpose.

“The context in which these words were made was that political parties in the opposition come together but do not stay united together whereas the Barisan Nasional and its affiliated parties stay together.

“My client spoke in terms of kahwin mutaah, which is akin to a temporary or contractual marriage and it linked with the opposition parties and the way that they acted,” said Muhammad Shafee.

The hearing which was heard virtually before a three-panel judge comprising Datuk Lee Swee Seng, Datuk Darryl Goon Siew Chye and Datuk Ghazali Cha continues on Jan 17 next year.

Anwar, who is PKR president, sued Khairy, who was then Youth and Sports Minister and Umno Youth vice-chief, on March 7, 2008, alleging that Khairy had uttered defamatory words about him during a ceramah at Lembah Pantai on February 20 the same year which led to the posting of a video clip titled “Anwar and kin no threat” on news portals.

In September 2017, High Court judge Azizul Azmi Adnan allowed Anwar’s suit against Khairy and found Khairy liable for defamation and therefore ordered Khairy to pay RM150,000 in general damages to Anwar.

The judge also dismissed Khairy’s application to amend his statement of defence to say that his remark was a fair comment.

Khairy subsequently filed the appeal against the High Court ruling but in February 2018, the Court of Appeal struck it out after allowing Anwar’s counsel’s application to annul the notice of appeal.

On December 15 last year, the Federal Court allowed Khairy’s appeal for his case to be reheard on its full merits at the Court of Appeal. — Bernama

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