Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim won a defamation suit on Wednesday against a government-linked newspaper over an article that he said portrayed him as untrustworthy.
Mr. Anwar sued the New Straits Times over a 2002 article titled Anwar’s link to U.S. lobbyist that examined his ties to a U.S. think-tank.
Mr. Anwar claimed the article made him seem like an “American agent” who was unprincipled and disloyal to Malaysia, while the newspaper argued it was only reporting the contents of a foreign magazine article about Mr. Anwar.
The High Court ruled in Mr. Anwar’s favour and ordered the New Straits Times to pay him 100,000 ringgit ($29,660) in damages, said Mr. Anwar’s attorney, Sankara Nair.
A representative of the Times’ legal team said they had not decided whether to appeal.
Mr. Anwar was Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 until 1998 when he was ousted after falling out with then-leader Mahathir Mohamad. In 1999, he was sentenced to six years for corruption followed in 2000 by a nine-year sentence for sodomy. He claimed the government fabricated the charges.
Mr. Anwar was freed from prison in 2004 when Malaysia’s top court overturned the sodomy conviction. Soon after he built an alliance out of three opposition parties that wrested one-third of the seats in Parliament in general elections last year. It was the ruling coalition’s worst performance during its five decades in power.