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High Court Allows Khalid Jafri to Amend Statement of Defence
By Mind Prober
15/9/2000 5:59 pm Fri
HIGH COURT ALLOWS KHALID JAFRI TO AMEND STATEMENT OF DEFENCE
Justice Datuk Dr R.K. Nathan allowed the application on grounds that
the appeal by the former deputy prime minister against his conviction and
sentence on four counts of corruption to the Federal Court is pending and
therefore, the conviction is a fact in issue.
"An appeal to the Federal Court does not mean that the guilty
verdicts are put in limbo or that the plaintiff (Anwar) is deemed
innocent," he said.
However, in his 21-page judgment, Nathan said Anwar would be allowed
to make consequential amendments and would also be compensated with costs.
"As to whether there will be any prejudice to the plaintiff (Anwar) if the
amendment is allowed, I cannot see any," he said. On Aug 11, Khalid
Jafri's counsel Shamsul Bahrain Ibrahim told the court that the defence
wanted to include a paragraph in its statement of defence which said that
Anwar was covicted for corruption.
Anwar's counsel Haji Sulaiman Abdullah, who was represented by Leela
Jesuthasan, objected and contended that the defence was seeking to adduce
evidence and that the conviction was not a fact in issue.
Sulaiman was not present in court on Wednesday. On June 17, 1998,
Anwar filed a suit against Khalid Jafri and publisher Media Pulau Lagenda,
Rozihan A.Ghani (Plaintiff) of the book - "50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak
Boleh Jadi PM" (50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Become PM).
Anwar had on July 3 last year obtained an interim injunction
preventing Khalid Jafri and Rozihan (defendants) from further publishing,
repeating and reproducing the book.
In his suit, Anwar claimed that the defendants had falsely and
maliciously published the book which contained gross libel against him.
Anwar also claimed that he had been defamed and his reputation
wasseriously affected. Khalid and Rozihan, in their statement of defence
on July 24, 1998, denied the claims, saying that the contents of the book
were based on facts and the words and innuendos published were true.