KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim denied having sent a businessman to entice Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman with RM100 million. The Pakatan Rakyat leader told the High Court today that the allegation was politically-motivated as he did not meet businessman Datuk Ishak Ismail after 1998 except for the one time he had surgery in Munich, Germany, in 2004.
Anwar was responding to cross-examination by Anifah’s counsel Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah over the RM100 million claims which was recently inserted into the defendant’s defence. Shafee had questioned Anwar whether Ishak – a former KFC deputy executive chairman – was the plaintiff’s agent to lure Anifah and ten other Sabah members of parliament to cross-over as part of a gambit to wrest Putrajaya on Sept 16, 2008.
“It is malicious and nasty,” Anwar said, adding that the allegation was a mere afterthought. Anwar claimed that Anifah only raised the allegation in court last year when the Umno General Assembly was in full swing. “He (Ishak) had issued a strong denial on the allegation and challenged Anifah to repeat it outside court, which Anifah never took up,” Anwar told the packed courtroom today.
After testifying for around 25 minutes, Anwar, 67, caused the packed gallery to burst into laughter when he thanked judicial commissioner Siti Khadijah S. Hassan Badjenid as he now had to return to Sungai Buloh Prison. Accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, daughter Nurul Izzah and other family members, he was escorted out of the courtroom around 10am by more than 10 Sungai Buloh Prison’s officers.
Anwar is currently serving a five-year jail term for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008. Siti Khadijah then fixed June 5 for decision of the suit. Among the opposition figures that attended proceedings today was Selangor menteri besar Mohamed Azmin Ali, Batu MP Tian Chua, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, and Selangor State Speaker Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan.
Counsel Razlan Hadri Zulkifli and J. Leela appeared for Anwar who is also an MP for Permatang Pauh. Anwar’s suit against Kimanis parliamentarian Anifah was over the latter’s statement made during a press conference with then-United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Washington, United States in May 2009.