KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday won 100,000 ringgit ($40,980) in a defamation suit over a newspaper article that portrayed him as a US agent, his lawyer said.
The High Court ordered the New Straits Times, a leading English-language daily, to pay compensation and legal costs to Anwar over an article titled "Anwar's links to US lobbyist" published in March 2002.
"We have argued in court that the article imputed Anwar as an American agent and an unfit politician," his lawyer Sankara Nair told AFP.
"The court held the article was defamatory. Anwar said he is vindicated and is very satisfied with the judgement," he said.
Sankara said the article was based on a report in an American magazine that also said Anwar had amassed RM3 billion in funds.
"The article was recklessly published without checking the truth and accuracy of the story," he said.
The 62-year-old opposition leader is currently facing a sodomy trial over charges leveled by a 24-year-old former aide. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment if he is convicted.
Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister and jailed a decade ago on separate sodomy and corruption charges, but that sex charge was later overturned.
He spent six years in jail but after being freed reinvigorated the opposition and rallied it to its best ever results in national elections last year, when it won a third of parliamentary seats.