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Court Orders Raja Petra To Reveal Sources

A Malaysian high court has ordered a prominent political blogger to reveal his sources used in articles that alleged sodomy accusations against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim were fabricated, a lawyer said Thursday.

Raja PetraOnline commentator Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin had in three articles posted on his blog implied that lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was behind the sodomy accusations by Anwar’s 23-year-old aide.

Muhammad Shafee told The Associated Press he obtained the court order Wednesday against Raja Petra, ordering him to reveal the sources of the three articles published this month, and the identities of those who commented on them.

The court also ordered him to remove the articles and all comments within two days and refrain from publishing similar allegations, Muhammad Shafee said.

“This man, he’s been talking absolutely rubbish. He makes up stories,” Muhammad Shafee said.

In the articles, Raja Petra alleged Muhammad Shafee helped engineer the sodomy accusations against Anwar for his own gain. Anwar, who claims he can get enough defections to overthrow the government, was charged with sodomy last week.

The charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. Anwar _ who was already jailed for sodomy and corruption in 1998 until the sodomy conviction was overturned _ has dismissed the accusations as politically motivated.

Raja Petra said Thursday he has not yet received the court order and would decide whether to take down the articles later. He said he won’t reveal his sources and did not know the identity of his commentators.

“Of course, I won’t. I never reveal my sources,” he said, adding he had expected “some sort of backlash” from his articles.

“I expect anything in my line of business,” he said. “I’m always prepared and never surprised.”

Muhammad Shafee said he wanted Raja Petra to defend himself in court, which set Sept. 2 to hear the application. He has also filed a defamation suit against Raja Petra for unspecified damages.

“I’m not only going after him for the three articles. I’m also going after the commentaries that have defamed me. I will go after each one of the commentators,” he said.

Raja Petra has already been charged with sedition and criminal defamation this year over an article and a sworn statement he made alleging links between the deputy prime minister and a Mongolian woman who was killed.

Some of Malaysia’s most popular blogs offer strongly anti-government commentaries, unlike mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them.

Justice Datuk Tee Ah Sing also ordered Raja Petra to remove the articles titled “Shafee Abdullah: Sodomologist Extraordinaire”; “Money, Power and Sex: What Motivates Man”; and “The Real Dalang Behind the Anwar Sodomy Allegation”.

Raja Petra has responded with an article titled You said it, babe! in his blog, Malaysia Today.

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