Large libel award for former Malaysian Deputy PM

Anwar Ibrahim former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia has been awarded 1.2 million dollars in damages over a book he claims contributed to his being dismissed from office.

Entitled '50 Reasons Why Anwar Ibrahim Cannot Become Prime Minister', the book (published in 1998) contained a series of allegations centered around allegations of sexual misconduct.

Having been ousted from office he subsequently stood trial for corruption and sodomy and was jailed for a total of 15 years. He was released last year after a successful appeal against the sodomy charge and earlier this year secured damages and an apology from a former police chief who had assaulted him in custody.

Judgment was awarded in Anwar's favour in January after the defence lawyer didn't show in court. Today's award is one of the largest for libel in Malaysia but is unlikely to be paid out as the 65 year old defendant Khalid Jafri is critically ill in hospital.

While his criminal convictions prevent Anwar from holding political office until 2008, his supporters are not ruling out a political comeback now that he has been vindicated over what were held to be politically motivated and unfounded allegations.

More from BBC HERE
Reuters HERE
Profile HERE and HERE
Banned Book (translated) HERE
Comment on this case and allegations of police abuse

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