Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Malaysia's Anwar faces bankruptcy
over failed lawsuit


Lawyers for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have threatened jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim with bankruptcy hearings for refusing to pay 35,381 ringgit (HK$72,431) in costs for a failed defamation suit, Anwar's lawyer said on Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir's lawyers sent Anwar three consecutive letters demanding payment after the Court of Appeals in April ordered the former deputy-prime minister to pay Dr Mahathir's legal costs, attorney Sankara Nair said.

The latest letter, dated September 5, warned that Mahathir had instructed his lawyers to file a bankruptcy notice against Anwar if he refuses to pay up, Mr Nair said. No deadline was given.

Lawyers at a Malaysian legal firm representing Dr Mahathir in the case could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr Nair said Anwar was determined not to pay Dr Mahathir.

''I have informed Anwar of the threat by Dr Mahathir to take out bankruptcy proceedings,'' Mr Nair said. ''He told me that it was as a matter of principle that he will not succumb to the demand.''