Saturday, November 27, 2021

Whereabouts of Anwar, family members set to grab attention ahead of sexual assault suit

Muhammed Yusoff Rawther says the PKR leader must prove his claim that he was entertaining his daughter and her children at the time of the alleged assault.

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The detailed whereabouts of Anwar Ibrahim as well as his daughter and grandchildren on the day that a former staff claimed he was sexually assaulted by the PKR leader three years ago is likely to become the focus of an upcoming suit.

This comes as Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, who in July filed a suit containing shocking and explicit details of an incident at Anwar’s Bukit Segambut residence, strongly denies several claims by the politician in the latter’s defence against the allegations.

In a reply to Anwar’s defence filed yesterday, Yusoff challenged suggestions by Anwar that his family members including his daughter and her children were also at the bungalow at the time of the alleged incident.

Yusoff in his statement of claim said he had arrived at the Bukit Segambut house at around 3pm on Oct 2, 2018, after he was instructed to personally hand over the draft of a speech to be presented by Anwar for a memorial event on Mahatma Gandhi later that evening.

Yusoff claimed that moments after he entered the library section of the house, the politician attempted to commit several sexual acts against him.

In his defence to the claims filed last month, Anwar dismissed the allegations, saying he was busy entertaining his second daughter Nurul Nuha and her children as well as friends between 2pm and 6pm at his house, soon after arriving from Port Dickson where he was campaigning as a Pakatan Harapan candidate for a by-election there.

Yusoff in his reply said with the exception that Anwar was scheduled to be in Port Dickson that morning, the rest of the claims must be proven.

In his suit, Yusoff, 28, is seeking a court declaration that the PKR leader had committed the sexual assault, as well as general, exemplary and aggravated damages for suffering trauma as well as physical, psychological and sociological disturbances as a result of the alleged incident.

Yusoff first made the allegation 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.

Anwar in his defence accused Yusoff of working with “unknown” individuals to smear him ahead of a promised transition of power from Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He further said that Yusoff’s suit filed in July was timed to thwart his chances of becoming prime minister, as a political vacuum loomed with the resignation of Muhyiddin Yassin.

Anwar also suggested that Yusoff had disciplinary issues and had misappropriated funds from a senior staff, claims which Yusoff dismissed as “utterly ludicrous, unsubstantiated, fabricated and false”.

Yusoff further said that his suit was neither politically motivated nor “intentionally timed and orchestrated” to wreck Anwar’s career.

“The political landscape in Malaysia has in recent years been volatile, with specific reference to internal party jostling and change of leadership.

“The plaintiff cannot be expected to twiddle his thumb and wait for the so-called perfect opportunity to file his action,” he said, adding that he had no contact or connection with any person accused of blocking Anwar’s political ascent.

Yusoff also questioned Anwar’s failure to follow up on a threat in January 2020 to sue him for defamation over the sexual assault claims.

“The defendant had every opportunity to sue the plaintiff prior to the filing of the plaintiff’s suit against the defendant herein but was afraid to do so and/or failed to do so,” he said.

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