Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla has ridiculed conspiracy talk that places him as the link between his client Yusoff Rawther and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whom he has also represented.
In a short statement, Haniff (photo, above) brushed off as "conspiracy theorists' allegations" that his representation of Yusoff, who is claiming he was the victim of sexual misconduct committed by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, "confirms a conspiracy authored by Tun M".
"I have acted for (Mahathir) before and there still are some matters I am attending to on his personal files, but as practising lawyers, we can not refuse to take a brief from any client on any matter, except in exceptional situations," Haniff said in a statement issued last night.
He said such situations, such as one involving a conflict of interest or professional embarrassment due to a direct link to the subject matter, did not arise in Yusoff's case.
"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 added.
He claimed that those who came up with theories linking the prime minister to his client were wasting their talents and should work in the movies to earn good money.
Yesterday, Yusoff and Haniff were at Bukit Aman for eight hours, where Yusoff's statement was recorded.
Later, Yusoff (above) ticked off his grand-uncle, who claimed he has been manipulated by politicians and warned outsiders to not interfere with his matter.
Haniff added at the time that his client wanted justice.
"If what Yusoff said is true and (what he) alleged did happen, then the police will take appropriate action by recommending whatever is supposed to be recommended for the Attorney-General's Office to take further action."
Haniff added that police have opened an investigation paper under Section 354 of the Penal Code for assault or use of criminal force on a person with the intent to outrage modesty.
"At this juncture, police are looking at all provisions. They are starting with Section 354. Let the police do a fair and just investigation. Let them come out with a just conclusion.
He declined to comment on the timing of Yusoff's statutory declaration, which was released a day before the PKR national congress kicked off
Also on Dec 4, the day before the PKR annual national delegates' congress, Yusoff held a press conference claiming he was the victim of indecent exposure, molest, and a lewd proposal from Anwar.
In a statutory declaration dated Nov 19, Yusoff alleged that the incident happened at the Port Dickson MP's residence in Segambut on Oct 2, 2018.
He alleged that the purported incident took place on the fourth day of the Port Dickson by-election campaign. Anwar was then the Pakatan Harapan candidate and eventual winner of the by-election.
Subsequently, Yusoff, who worked as a research officer for Anwar, had filed a police report on the alleged incident.