Monday, 04 March 2013 13:11
SULU MASTERMIND: Anwar gives 24 HOURS to Utusan, TV3 to apologize & retract
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has launched RM100 million defamation suits against the Utusan newspaper and TV3 broadcaster for alleging that he was the mastermind behind the Sabah intrusions.
Anwar's lawyers issued the letters of demands, giving both media 24 hours to apologize and retract their reports.
"The allegations are completely false, malicious and defamatory of our clients. Further these allegations are calculated to injure our client's credit and reputation as a public figure and bring him into public scandal, odium and contempt," wrote Anwar's lawyer Latheefa Koya.
"In this regard you are fully aware that the 13th General Election is imminent and our client is the leader of the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat. Our client views your allegations seriously as it amounts to a blatant attempt to mislead the public on a matter of national security."
According to Latheefa, Utusan had in their March 2 edition published a defamatory headline on its front page Ketua Pembangkang dikaitkan dengan Pencerobohan? (Opposition Leader involved in Intrusions?) .
Additionally, on page 10 under the heading Tiga Kumpulan jadi dalang (Three parties were the masterminds), the Malay-language daily had written :
Malah, pihak perisikan negara itu secara terbuka mengaitkan nama Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebagai salah orang dalang kejadian itu yang akhirnya menyaksikan berlaku tragedi pertumpahan darah.
(In fact, the country's intelligence openly associated Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the mastermind of the incident that led to the bloody tragedy)
In the claim against TV3, Anwar's lawyers referred to a report on the broadcaster's Buletin Utama programme, wherein it had quoted the Utusan's reports.
"In view of the extreme seriousness of the allegations, we are also to demand that you pay our client a sum of RM100 million as damages for the injury done to our client's good name and reputation and in vindication of the public's right to fair media reporting," wrote Latheefa.