PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is seeking RM100 in damages from Utusan Malaysia for its front-page report yesterday accusing him of involvement in a toilet tryst.
In a statement today, PKR vice-president N Surendran, in his capacity as Azmin's lawyer, said the letter of demand has been served on publishers Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and its editor.
Azmin is also demanding a withdrawal of the allegation and a public apology to be published on the front page of the daily.
"In view of the seriousness of the alllegations and the nationwide circulation of the newspaper, Azmin Ali has demanded the sum of RM100 million in damages," Surendran said.
He added that the photographs were clearly fabricated and politically motivated.
"(It is) the lowest kind of gutter journalism. As usual, the photos have been widely published in the BN owned media and pro-Umno blogs.
" Utusan Malaysia published the images in a particularly vicious and calculated manner," he said.
PM is involved
Surendran said PKR held the Prime Minister and Umno president Najib Abdul Razak personally responsible for the publication of the photos.
"It is impossible that character assasination of this scale could be carried out by Utusan Malaysia without the approval and knowledge of Najib, whose Umno ruling party owns Utusan Malaysia ," he said.
The Utusan Malaysia article was based on Azmin's denial that he was involved in an affair, as claimed by pro-Umno blogs.
However, the article was accompanied by several pictures of a man, which the blogs claimed was Azmin, in the company of a woman.
Azmin claimed that the toilet tryst claim was the latest in a string of recent allegations targetting his character, beginning with claims about his daugther's paternity followed by his alleged instigation of the Bersih 3.0 chaos.