Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla has dismissed the latest conspiracy theory claiming he is acting as a go-between for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a former PKR researcher to destroy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s political career.
In a late-night post, the lawyer who has acted for the prime minister’s private litigation cases and is currently representing Anwar’s accuser, Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, explained why he took on the latter’s case.
“As practising lawyers, we cannot refuse to take a brief from any client on any matter except in exceptional situations,” he wrote on his Facebook page at about midnight.
Examples of those “exceptional” cases he gave were conflict of interest or situations which may cause the lawyer public embarrassment due to personal interest.
He said there was no such reason that would disqualify him professionally when he took up Yusoff’s case, which was why he did not reject his client.
“The fact that I am appearing for Yusoff out in front [makes it] crystal clear that Tun M cannot, therefore, be behind this matter at all.
“Otherwise, it is a big giveaway for me to be in the forefront, is it not?” Haniff asked.
He laughed off the suggestion of a plot to cause Anwar’s downfall and suggest the conspiracy theorists submit their idea to a film studio.
“Perhaps these people should put their theories to work through movies for them to earn good money,” he wrote.
Yusoff recently signed a statutory declaration accusing the PKR president and prime minister-in-waiting of sexual impropriety.
The 26-year-old grandson of consumer rights pioneer, the late SM Mohamed Idris, was questioned by the police for about nine hours yesterday.
The case is being investigated under Section 354 of the Penal Code for sexual assault.
Meanwhile, police once again summoned Yusoff to record further statements from him.
Earlier, Haniff said his client is “aware of the consequences of telling lies.”
He added that his client is seeking is justice.
“Yusoff is not a young boy. He understands that if he tells a lie, he will pay the price.
“Yet, he has taken the stand of making an SD (statutory declaration), lodge a report and come to cooperate with the police to give his full statement on what happened,” Hanif told a press conference in Bukit Aman on Monday night.
Haniff also said his client had explained to the police on why he decided to only lodge a report more than a year after the alleged incident. However, the lawyer said he was not at liberty to divulge the reason.
Haniff denied claims that Yusoff’s family members had received threats or were being harassed.
Yusoff said he has the support of his family. He brushed aside criticism of him by his grand uncle, Mohideen Abdul Kader, who had previously questioned the credibility of his claims.
“My family is strong. They are fully supporting me. That grand uncle is someone I see once a year during Hari Raya; all of sudden he is an expert of my life. I am a bit surprised.
“My family came out with a statement. I will leave it at that. I just hope people who are not part of my family will not get involved in this matter,” he said.