Published: Tuesday February 5, 2013 MYT 4:33:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday February 5, 2013 MYT 4:37:58 PM
Indera Mahkota MPís RM29mil defamation suit against Utusan heading for possible settlement
By M. MAGESWARI
KUALA LUMPUR: Indera Mahkota MP Azan Ismail will know on Feb 18 about a possible settlement with Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd over publication of a defamatory article saying that he had left Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
Both parties met High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng in chambers to inform her about the development in the RM29mil defamation suit.
Utusan lawyer T.K.B Mohana Kumar, told reporters here that that his client need to study the proposal by Azan and discuss with the committee for a settlement.
Lawyer A. Vasudevan, who represented Azan, said the parties are waiting for the Utusan management to agree on the terms of settlement.
In his statement of claim filed on April 5, 2010, Azan said that Utusan Malaysia editor Zulkiflee Bakar have written the article for the publication in the newspaper on March 6, 2010.
He said that the article entitled “Bahtera Siapa Semakin Bocor?”(Whose Ship is Leaking?), that carried his photograph among other politicians, was unfounded.
Azan said Utusan Melayu has published a follow-up report under “Ralat” (Correction) on March 8, 2010 where it said that he did not leave PKR but had resigned all positions in the party.
He said that the article implied that he was immoral, did not stand firm on the party leadership and did not care for the interest of his constituents.
He is seeking RM29mil in damages, an injunction against Zulkiflee to stop him from writing any libelous article against him and prevent the publisher from printing any similar words.
In the statement of defence filed on May 18, 2010, Utusan said the claim did not disclose any reasonable cause of action for libel and that the article and photograph were protected by qualified privilege.