KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has maintained in a High Court that he had never defamed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim by implying that the PKR leader was involved in an act of sodomy.
Khairy said he did not defame Anwar when he gave a political speech at Dataran Angkasa on Feb 19, 2008 when he launched the election machinery of the Lembah Pantai Umno Youth division.
Questioned by his lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, he said his statement meant that Anwar could not be trusted in his political relationships and did play out the Opposition.
“I was talking about the merger or co-operation between the opposition parties, namely PAS, PKR and DAP for the pure purpose of the election, and I was comparing such arrangement to a marriage of convenience or contractual marriage which basically is not meant to last and is done only to achieve a specific short term purpose,” testified Khairy, who is the first witness in the trial of the RM100mil defamation suit filed by Anwar against him.
He added his statement was not reported by an online news portal accurately but he did not correct the mistakes as he was extremely occupied with other matters as election was then only a couple of weeks away.
When questioned by Anwar’s lead counsel J. Leela, he said his statement absolutely did not have any sexual connotation to portray Anwar as being involved in an act of sodomy.
“The intention was to give a political speech. We pass comments which is a fair comment. It is normal,” said Khairy.
To a suggestion by Leela that the reaction from his listeners that day had implied he did make such remarks, Khairy said: “I can’t control the crowd’s reaction. I can only say what I have meant.”
He also denied that he had organised a road show after the Sodomy II case judgment to embarrass Anwar.
When questioned by Anwar’s co-counsel Latheefa Koya, Khairy said his statement did not refer to sexual acts as “political party can’t have sex”.
“It means PAS and DAP using each other for political purposes,” he said.
In response to a question, Khairy replied that he could not remember if Anwar’s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had shared any facts with him over the Sodomy II case when he met him.
The hearing before High Court Judicial Commissioner Azizul Azmi Adnan continues today.
Anwar filed his defamation suit against Khairy on March 7, 2008 alleging that the latter, as then Umno Youth deputy chief, had uttered defamatory words and caused the posting on websites (including Malaysiakini.com) of a video clip entitled “Anwar and kin no threat”.
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.