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Court instructs Anwar to file defence in sexual assault suit by Sept 28

His former staff Muhammed Yusoff Rawther meanwhile has until Oct 13 to file a reply.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has given Anwar Ibrahim until Sept 28 to file his defence against a suit by his former staff, accusing the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman of sexual assault last year.

The court also gave Muhammed Yusoff Rawther until Oct 13 to file a reply to the defence.

The decision was made by deputy registrar Ida Mas Liza Maarof during case management for the suit today, with the next session fixed on Oct 29.

On July 15, Yusoff, 28, filed a suit containing shocking and explicit details of an incident at Anwar’s home in Bukit Segambut, which he said took place about 10 days before the politician won the Port Dickson by-election on Oct 13, 2018.

He said he had suffered serious trauma as well as physical, psychological and sociological disturbances as a result of the incident.

Yusoff is seeking a court declaration that the PKR leader had committed the sexual assault, as well as general, exemplary and aggravated damages which include the cost of the therapy sessions he is currently attending.

Yusoff said he worked at Anwar’s bungalow office in Bukit Gasing, Petaling Jaya, where he was also given accommodation, and was tasked with conducting research on policy matters, preparing speeches, as well as handling correspondence with foreign dignitaries and business leaders.

He has separately filed civil suits against Anwar’s two aides seeking compensation for injuries and defamatory remarks.

Yusoff claimed that Anwar’s political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak had assaulted him some seven months after the alleged sexual assault incident.

Yusoff first made the allegations against Anwar in a statutory declaration in November 2019. A police report was subsequently lodged, followed by weeks of investigation by Bukit Aman under Section 354 of the Penal Code which deals with criminal force to outrage modesty.

During investigations, the police subjected Yusoff to a four-hour polygraph test at Bukit Aman. Anwar meanwhile refused to take the test.

On Jan 14, 2020, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, then under Tommy Thomas, said it would not press charges against Anwar due to “insufficient evidence” and “contradictions” of facts.

Three days later, Anwar said he would file a defamation suit against Yusoff over his Nov 19 statutory declaration although he later decided against this.