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High Court Allows Khalid Jafri to Amend Statement of Defence
By Mind Prober

15/9/2000 5:59 pm Fri

Subject: Malaysia Boleh!

Clear Day


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- The High Court here on Wednesday allowed author Abdul Khalid @ Khalid Jafri Bakar Shah's application to amend his statement of defence in the libel suit brought against him by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

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.