KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court awarded Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a total of RM4.5mil in his libel suit against Datuk Abdul Khalid @ Khalid Jafri Bakar Shah, the author of the book 50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM (50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become PM).
Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus awarded the former deputy prime minister RM4mil for defamation and RM500,000 for conspiracy to injure.
Khalid Jafri and his wife Datin Rozihan A. Ghani, of Media Pulau Lagenda which published the book, were named as defendant and second defendant respectively.
Justice Mohd Hishamudin also awarded costs to the plaintiff in respect of the proceedings for the assessment of damages.
“Recent cases on libel actions in this country show that the current judicial trend in Malaysia is no longer to award millions of ringgit in damages for libel.
“However, I am in agreement with Tuan Haji Sulaiman Abdullah (Anwar’s lead counsel) that the facts and circumstances of this case are unique and hence the damages to be awarded must be reflective of the peculiarity of the case,” the judge said in his judgment.
When met after the proceedings, Anwar, 58, said he was thankful that the case was finally settled.
“I’m very pleased with the judgment. I’m completely vindicated. This is also the first judgment that made reference and affirmed the existence of a conspiracy to topple me,” he said.
The 65-year-old author was not present in court.
According to media reports, Khalid Jafri is in critical condition after being warded at a private hospital in Seremban for chronic diabetes on Aug 2.
His right leg was amputated three days later. He is now warded at Selayang Hospital.