Friday, January 21, 2022

Ex-staff seeks to strike out 6 allegations by Anwar in sexual assault suit

Yusoff Rawther says the claims that he had disciplinary issues, stole funds and was 'pro-Israel' have no relevance to the suit.

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A former staff member of Anwar Ibrahim who filed a sexual assault suit against the PKR chief is seeking to strike out six accusations against him, including those in which the veteran politician mentioned two individuals who are now deceased.

Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, in filing to strike out several paragraphs from Anwar’s defence in September, said the counter-claims were “unsubstantiated, irrelevant and contrary to the principles of law”.

“The defendant’s counter-claim is speculative in nature; is vague, lacks clarity and particulars; does not identify any cause of action let alone any reasonable cause of action,” Yusoff said in an affidavit filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.

The accusations include one in which Anwar claimed that Yusoff’s grandfather, the late prominent consumer rights activist SM Mohamed Idris, had said that his grandson had disciplinary issues and had sought Anwar’s favour to give him a job in the hope of “Yusoff turning over a new leaf”.

Yusoff is also seeking for the court to expunge a paragraph suggesting that he had misappropriated funds belonging to a senior staff at Anwar’s office who is now deceased, as well as another claim that he is “pro-Israel”.

He said the contents of Anwar’s counter-claims not only failed to answer the sexual assault claim but “are also irrelevant”, adding that they were an attempt to confuse the court and prevent the suit from moving forward.

He also questioned the lack of details in Anwar’s claim that Yusoff had “acted in connivance with” several individuals.

“This is coupled with the fact that the identity and the roles of the alleged person or persons are not even pleaded.”

On July 15, Yusoff, 28, filed a suit containing shocking and explicit details of an alleged incident at Anwar’s home in Bukit Segambut.

He said the incident took place about 10 days before Anwar won the Port Dickson by-election on Oct 13, 2018.

He is seeking a court declaration that Anwar 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, followed by a police report.

During an investigation by Bukit Aman under Section 354 of the Penal Code which deals with criminal force to outrage modesty, 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” in facts.

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