Former Malaysia deputy PM appeals defamation ruling

Former Malaysia deputy PM appeals defamation ruling

[JURIST] Malaysian former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim [personal website] Thursday appealed a lower court judge's decision dismissing his defamation suit [JURIST report] against former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad [BBC profile] in connection with renewed allegations that Anwar is homosexual. The appeal challenges Judge Tengku Maimon's order awarding Mahathir legal costs, and also seeks to reverse Tengku's ruling so that Anwar may proceed with the defamation suit.

Anwar, who was dismissed by Mahathir in 1998 following disagreement on the handling of the 1997 Asian financial crisis [Wikipedia backgrounder], was sentenced to 15 years in prison on sodomy and corruption charges but was released in 2004 after an appeals court overturned the sodomy conviction [JURIST report]. In 2006, Anwar sued Mahathir after Mahathir allegedly suggested at a human rights conference that Anwar was unfit for office because of his supposed homosexuality and later refused to apologize or pay damages to Anwar. AFP has more.