The High Court today ordered New Straits Times Press (M) to pay RM100,000 in damages to Anwar Ibrahim over a defamatory article published in 2002.
The court also ordered the media giant to pay RM20,000 in costs to the PKR leader.
Earlier the court ruled that NSTP had defamed Anwar in its article published in the New Straits Times on March 2, 2002.
The article, titled ‘Anwar’s link to US lobbyist’, claimed that the opposition leader had stashed RM3 billion in foreign accounts and had foreign links to Western interests. The article was based on a report which was carried in the New Republic magazine.
In making his decision, judicial commissioner Harminder Singh Dhaliwall said that NSPT could not rely on the defence of qualified privilege as the “article was sinister and more than a reproduction of the New Republic article”.
“The said article is far more sinister than the reproduction,” he said.
“Hence, the court finds the article to be libellous and the defendants have to pay the damages to the plaintiff (Anwar),” he added.
Anwar had sued New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and its former group editor-in-chief Abdullah Ahmad for RM100 million over the defamatory article.
The NSTP article was based on another article – ‘The Bush Administration’s dubious envoy to Taiwan’ – that was published in the political weekly magazine New Republic’s March 2002 issue. Anwar filed the suit on July 4, 2003.