Khairy to testify in September over Anwar's defamation suit

KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court here has ordered Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pix) to begin his testimony in September during the trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's RM100mil defamation suit against him.  

High Court Judicial Commissioner Azizul Azmi Adnan held that Khairy should give his evidence first in the trial on Sept 19.  

Speaking to reporters later after the decision was delivered in chambers Friday, Anwar's lawyer J.Leela said the Judicial Commissioner also refused stay of the trial upon an oral application by Khairy's lawyer Sarah Abishegam.  

"The Judicial Commissioner held that it was a ruling made in the course of preparation of trial which does not fully dispose of rights of the parties. It is not appealable," she added.  

Anwar filed his defamation suit against Khairy on March 7, 2008 alleging that the latter, who was then the Umno Youth deputy chief, had uttered defamatory words and caused the posting on websites including of a video clip entitled “Anwar and kin no threat”.

The PKR leader claimed the video clip on contained defamatory words spoken by Khairy at a ceramah in Lembah Pantai here on Feb 20, 2008.  

Leela said she may call two witnesses in the trial.  

She said JC Azizul had ordered the parties to file their list of witnesses and witness statements for the hearing proper.  

Khairy contended that Anwar had to testify first in the defamation suit to prove that the PKR leader was being accused as a homosexual. 

Leela had argued that it would be more practical if Khairy was called to testify first in the trial, on grounds that there was no dispute as to the reference made against her client and that there was the publication involved in the matter.  

Khairy is also expected to call two witnesses to give evidence in the trial.  

In his lawsuit, Anwar said the defamatory words, among others, meant that he was involved in activities contradictory to Islam, was not of good character and was not fit to hold political or other positions.  

In his statement of defence filed on Oct 8, 2010, Khairy said he relied on the defence of justification and qualified privilege.