Sexual assault claim – Anwar ordered to file defence by Sept 28

(FMT) – Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been ordered to file his defence by Sept 28 against a sexual assault claim by his former research assistant.

Lawyer Joanna Ooi, who appeared for Anwar, said High Court deputy registrar Idamasliza Maarof gave the directive during a case management today.

She said the plaintiff, Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, could reply to the defence and that it must be filed by Oct 13.

“Any interlocutory application will have to be filed before the next case management date on Oct 29,” she said after a remote proceeding before Idamasliza.

Lawyer Mahajoth Singh appeared for Yusoff who filed the suit on July 15.

In his statement of claim, Yusoff said Anwar sexually assaulted and molested him at his (Anwar’s) home in Segambut on Oct 2, 2018.

According to Yusoff, he was asked by the defendant’s private secretary Shukri Saad to hand over the text of a speech for Anwar to deliver to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. He claimed that was when Anwar sexually assaulted him.

There was no communication between him and Anwar for about a month after the incident, although he was still working for Anwar before his resignation on June 24, 2019.

Yusoff lodged a police report against Anwar on Dec 7, 2019.

He also claimed he was accused of conspiring to bring down and damage Anwar’s political career, and this had affected his mental health.

He is seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages and other relief deemed fit by the court.