Karpal says Ummi has passed time limit to sue

(Bernama) – The time limit for intending litigant Ummi Hafilda Ali to file a suit against several members of the opposition has long passed, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said today.

He said the suit that she was reported to be planning related to “something that happened more than 13 years ago “, which means that the statute of limitation for the case has long expired.

“When a case exceeds six years – the limit is six years – the court can strike it out without it being heard… I advise her lawyer to study the law carefully,” Karpal told reporters here.

He was commenting on a report that Ummi Hafilda, a key witness in the 1998 sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim, intended to sue the opposition leader, her estranged brother, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Karpal and PAS for a total of RM700 million for their alleged conduct against her.

Ummi Hafilda’s accusation against Karpal was that he had betrayed her trust after she and Anwar’s former driver, Azizan Abu Bakar, had met him to expose the former prime minister’s alleged sexual misconduct.

Karpal admitted that he had urged the government to investigate the allegation of misconduct with Azizan as the victim.

“At the time, prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Attorney-General Mokhtar Abdullah, and Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor, all rejected my call, saying the allegation was untrue and that I was motivated by politics,” he said.

Karpal said he had helped Anwar at his request in the 1998 sodomy case after he was sacked as deputy prime minister and deputy Umno president.

Anwas was found not guilty in 2004 after the Federal Court ruled that the testimony of Azizan was not acceptable, Karpal said.

“So there is no basis in the allegation of Ummi Hafilda that I had betrayed her trust or that I had acted contrary to the ethics of a lawyer,” he said.

Karpal also said that people like Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamad Hashim who asked the Attorney-General to subpoena him as a witness in the ongoing sodomy trial of Anwar were ignorant of the law.

He said the second sodomy trial, with Anwar’s personal assistant Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan as the accuser, had nothing to do with his statement in 1997 because the case involving Azizan had been settled.