Pleading under oath in his statement to the London High Court in April 2018, Hadi pitifully described the hurt it would cause him not to be able to defend his ‘hard won reputation’ in the English court.
He was responding the Sarawak Report’s earlier claim in its defence that his was a bogus case brought to serve the political objectives of his party and its secret collaborators from UMNO, in particular Najib Razak. We pointed out his own name had not even been mentioned in the article complained of.
This is what Hadi argued then:
” it is my belief that the term “top echelons of PAS” would clearly be understood by its readers to refer to me, by readers of the article both in England and Wales and other jurisdictions who are familiar with Malaysian politics and with PAS. My position as the President of PAS means that I am the face of the party….
Impact of the allegations
The false, extremely serious accusations which the Defendant made against me in the words complained of have caused me great distress. Adhering to the tenets of Islam is fundamental to me, not just as a Muslim but also as leader of Malaysia’s largest Islamic party. Naturally, as well as being abhorrent (and criminal) in its own right, bribery is strictly forbidden by my religion and indeed any involvement in such conduct is considered an extremely serious wrong. I abhor corruption in all its forms, and to be accused of having accepted a bribe, or tacitly approving of my party members doing so, has caused me great distress and will have caused untold damage to my reputation as a Muslim, as the leader of an Islamic party, and as a person. It would be a very serious blow to me personally as well as my ability to rid my character of the stain of these allegations if I was not permitted to bring my claim before the English Court.
And yet today, the political leader shrugged off any pretence it seems of caring about his alleged reputation in Britain, which had been the only legitimate basis for his libel claim.
After days of silence following the revelation that Sarawak Report’s legal fees were paid as part of the settlement allowing Hadi to withdraw his case, the PAS President told reporters “Considering the lawsuit was a political case, and because we managed to win (in the elections), so we retracted the case,” [Malay Mail]
So what about all those earlier complaints that his reputation needed defending or that he was colluding with Najib? For example this further statement:
I have no doubt that the publication of these allegations has caused serious harm to my reputation and good name earned through decades of hard work and religious observance. The suggestion that I am bringing this claim to protect the reputation and advance the political purposes of Najib Razak is as baseless as it is offensive and adds enormous insult to injury. The allegations have damaged my stature in the estimation of others and continue to do so. [Hadi’s sworn Witness Statement]
As all Malaysians know, PAS and UMNO yesterday announced their “marriage”, despite Hadi having denied to the UK court that he was in any way collaborating with Najib and despite his claims to deplore the criminal thefts from 1MDB, of which Najib stands accused under dozens of charges and in several jurisdictions around the world.
Hadi also claimed today that no one connected to PAS had paid to get him off the hook by covering Sarawak Report’s legal fees. This despite the copious and documented evidence to show that SR was indeed paid RM1.4million in return for allowing Hadi to drop the case.
Hadi has yet even to meet the basic challenge of explaining what the “confidential agreed terms of settlement” cited in the court order could possibly have refered to, if not that payment?
Instead, he has tried to distance himself from the payment and even to disown a generous patron of his party in the process. Yet, SR, its UK and KL lawyers as well as Hadi’s London lawyers all know what the terms of settlement were and why Hadi wanted them kept confidential.
If he and his party had not broken its own terms and lied about the settlement the payment would have remained confidential.
But, Hadi has gone even further in his lastest statements, claiming PAS could not afford to pay the RM1.4 million they had cost Sarawak Report through this politically motivated case. In which case, how did it afford the RM2.9 million it admitted earlier this year that it has paid to its own London lawyers?
The PAS vice president in calling for the final RM400 to be raised had said that ordinary members had so far only contributed RM67,000 toward the RM2.5 million Hadi had already shelled out to lawyers Carter Ruck. So if not members where did all that money come from to pay their fees?
Hadi again contradicted himself during the same remarks, saying the party had to borrow ‘loans’ to pay for the record number of seat deposits made by PAS during GE14. However, when RM2.5 million was identified as having been given to PAS and used for that purpose way back last year, Hadi and PAS leaders referred to the cash as a donation from anonymous wealthy member.
In fact we now have evidence the money was provided by UMNO, but there was never any discusion at the time of it being a ‘loan’.
Perhaps the reason for all these sudden pleadings of poverty is that Hadi just doesn’t want to use the cash that it received back from those seat deposits or from anywhere else to repay the noble intermediary, who stepped in to cover Sarawak Report’s legal fees by cheque, in clear understanding that PAS would refund the bill?
That cheque was post-dated by ten days for the very reason that the intermediary was expecting to be reimbursed by PAS before the money was banked in the UK.
If that is the case and if Hadi has not in fact repaid his trusting associate the money he is clearly owed, then the PAS president is proven to be not only a self-confessed liar, but a traitor also and a thief.
What is certain is that Hadi and PAS will never be able to sue Sarawak Report for the money back until at least they are prepared to admit they paid it. And to do so would involve another discussion about the nature of Hadi’s ‘reputation’ back in the English courts!