,Khairy Jamaluddin has withdrawn his appeal against a court ruling that he is liable for defaming Anwar Ibrahim over a statement of immoral character made at a ceramah in 2008. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 21, 2022.

KHAIRY Jamaluddin has ceased his legal battle against a court ruling that he is liable for defaming Anwar Ibrahim over a statement of immoral character made 14 years ago.

A three-member Federal Court panel led by judge Nallini Pathmanathan then struck out two leave applications to appeal filed by Khairy, with RM5,000 in costs for each appeal.

This was after Khairy’s counsel, Sarah Abishegam, informed the court that they had written to the opposing side for the withdrawal of the leave applications in April this year.

Khairy sought the leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling that he is liable for defaming Anwar and over the same court’s finding dismissing his appeal to amend the statement of defence with regard to the defamation suit by the opposition leader.

Earlier, Abishegam offered costs of RM1,000 for each appeal on grounds that the withdrawal was made at an early stage.

“We filed the motion on March 7 and the matter came up for e-Review (at the court) on April 6.

“There was a hearing date set on August 11 for this matter. We actually wrote to the opponent for the withdrawal of the appeals in April,” she told the panel, which includes Justices Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Rhodzariah Bujang.

Anwar’s counsel, Gopal Sri Ram, said the sum of RM5,000 in costs for each appeal before the apex court is reasonable. 

“The motions (applications for leave to appeal) which were served on us comprised of 10 volumes. We had to respond to the points raised and my learned friend appearing with me, Miss Leela, also prepared the draft submissions,” he added.

On February 7 this year, the Court of Appeal dismissed Khairy’s appeal to challenge Anwar’s defamation suit after ruling that there was no appealable error that warranted appellate intervention.

Judge Darryl Goon Siew Chye, who read out the decision, said the impugned statement uttered by Khairy, in the choice of analogy and figure of speech within the natural and ordinary meaning, was capable of being defamatory to Anwar.

The Court of Appeal also affirmed the High Court’s decision and held that the damages of RM150,000 awarded by the High Court to Anwar were not manifestly excessive.

On March 7, 2008, Anwar, who is PKR president, sued Khairy, who was then Youth and Sports Minister and UMNO Youth vice-chief, for allegedly uttering defamatory words about him during a ceramah in Lembah Pantai on February 20 the same year which led to the posting of a video clip titled “Anwar and kin no threat” on a news portal.



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