KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today issued a letter of demand to PAS’ Baling MP Hassan Saad seeking either a denial of involvement in an allegedly defamatory audio clip shared on Twitter or an apology, failing which he would sue for defamation.
In the eight-page legal letter issued by Anwar’s lawyers, they claimed that Hassan had around November 27 published or caused an audio clip to be posted on Twitter via the Twitter handle “Mohd Ropi Mat Sin”.
Anwar’s lawyers also said that this audio clip was later shared by Twitter user “Pemikir Malaysia”, and that it has since been viewed 431,500 times and shared 3,300 times and retweeted 1,400 times as of today.
The lawyers said the audio clip had carried defamatory claims against Anwar by alleging that he was purportedly in contact with Israel or foreign enemies, but stressed that all such allegations are untrue and maliciously made against Anwar.
According to the lawyers, the audio clip has been linked to Hassan, based on his photo that was used as the background image for the clip, and claimed Hassan had yet to deny such links of causing the clip to be published.
But if Hassan denies such links to the audio clip, the lawyers said Anwar would be demanding for Hassan to carry out a list of actions, including making a public and written confirmation to Anwar or his lawyers to say that he had not uttered or caused the publication of the defamatory words and the audio clip.
Anwar’s lawyers said Hassan would be considered to have admitted his involvement in the audio clip if no denial is received within three days of receiving this letter of demand, which means legal action would be initiated against him.
Anwar also demanded for Hassan to immediately and publicly make an unconditional retraction of the defamatory audio clip, as well as to make an unconditional apology to be published in newspapers and media of Anwar’s choice and to make a written undertaking or promise to not repeat the allegations in the audio clip.
Anwar’s lawyers said that failure to do so would result in them seeking an injunction order from the court and to initiate a legal action against Hassan.
Anwar is also seeking for compensation over the serious injury to his reputation and for legal costs to be borne by Hassan, with Anwar’s lawyers stressing that any failure by Hassan to provide a satisfactory response within three days of this letter being received would result in legal action against the latter.
When contacted, Anwar’s lawyer Datuk Sankara Nair confirmed to Malay Mail that the letter has been posted to Hassan.
Local daily New Straits Times had last night reported Hassan as claiming to “have no idea” on who was behind the audio clip and declining to comment further.