The Kuala Lumpur High Court today ordered Khairy Jamaluddin to pay RM3,000 in costs to Anwar Ibrahim after the minister's lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah failed to abide by a court directive to file his written submission to include an additional defence of “fair comment” on time.
The youth and sports minister wanted to include the additional defence before the submissions on May 19, as the long-standing trial of this defamation suit concludes with the calling of witnesses from both parties.
Judicial Commissioner Azizul Azmi Adnan made the order on costs after the court through its registrar had directed Shafee's law firm to submit their written submission by April 10, and extending it to last Thursday.
However, till today his firm failed to file the submission on the application, as his assistant Sarah Abishegam, informed the court that Shafee (photo) is on medical leave suffering from a hamstring injury and could not attend the proceedings today.
The counsel told the court that the firm was only able to produce a draft submission on the amended defence.
Today has been fixed for the hearing of Khairy's application to amend the defence.
Anwar's lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah said since the court had given its directive on the matter, costs should be imposed for non-compliance of the directive.
“We pray for RM3,000 in costs,” he said.
Justice Azizul noted that in view of Shafee's injury, the hearing of the application could not proceed as Shafee's firm has not submitted its written submission.
The judicial commissioner then ordered the minister to pay costs for the attendance of the plaintiff's side.
Justice Azizul also directed that both parties to make their submissions on the application, along with the main submission, on May 19.
Sivarasa told reporters that they have already filed their written submission to Khairy's application to amend his defence.
“This is the second time that Khairy is making an amendment to his defence,” he added.
The two previous applications were made before the trial commenced.
Anwar had filed the RM100 million defamation suit following the Umno Youth chief's "main belakang" remark at a political ceramah in Lembah Pantai on Feb 19, 2008, which was carried by Malaysiakini.
The jailed opposition leader argued that the phrase meant that he is a homosexual.- Mkini