Monday, May 9, 2011

Taib’s suit against news portal proceeds to trial

This follows the Federal Court's decision to dismiss his application for leave to appeal an earlier decision.
PUTRAJAYA : Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s defamation suit against online news portal Malaysiakini will proceed for trial at the High Court.

This follows the Federal Court’s decision today to dismiss Taib’s application for leave to appeal a decision of the Court of Appeal in removing only one of four paragraphs of the Malaysiakini’s statement of defence.

Court of Appeal president Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Federal Court judges Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff ordered Taib to pay RM10,000 in legal costs to the news portal and co-defendant, editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

On Jan 3, this year, the Court of Appeal had partly allowed Taib’s appeal. It (The Court of Appeal) struck out one of the four paragraphs that Taib sought to remove from the defence, namely that his suit was an abuse of the court process.

The other three paragraphs remained intact and concerned Malaysiakini’s justification for the article, readers’ comments and Archipelago shipping’s alleged connection with Taib’s family.

On May 28, 2009, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof dismissed Taib’s application to strike out the four paragraphs from Malaysiakini’s defence statement after she ruled that those paragraphs contained facts that were relevant to the defence.

The suit, filed in 2007, was over a series of articles pertaining to timber trade in Sarawak.

Taib is seeking an unspecified amount in general damages, aggravated and/or exemplary damages.



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