Published: Wednesday March 13, 2013 MYT 3:10:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday March 13, 2013 MYT 3:15:10 PM
Utusan fails to strike out Seputeh MP Kok's defence against defamation suit
By QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd's defamation suit against Seputeh MP Teresa Kok will go for full trial after the Court of Appeal here dismissed its application to strike out the Selangor exco's defence.
The panel led by Justice Zaharah Ibrahim unanimously upheld the Kuala Lumpur High Court's 2011 decision to dismiss the company's application after ruling that it (the application) was not properly framed.
"We are constrained to uphold the High Court's decision and dismiss this application with costs," said Justice Zaharah on Wednesday.
The panel of judges, which included Justices K. Anantham and Mah Weng Kwai, awarded RM10,000 in costs to Kok.
Utusan's lead counsel Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that Kok's defence should be set aside as it lacked sufficient particulars.
Kok's lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo responded that in the defence, they had provided examples why Kok's comments constituted fair comment.
"There is nothing confusing or misleading about the defence, therefore the application to strike out has no basis," Sangeet told the court here.
In the suit filed on Jan 19, 2009, Utusan Melayu claimed that Kok had defamed it over the issue of food served to her during her detention under the Internal Security Act in 2008.
It said Kok had on Sept 22, 2008, falsely written and published on her website defamatory words which implied that it habitually, through its publication Utusan Malaysia, embarked on a campaign to discredit her image or anyone in Pakatan Rakyat by twisting issues and statements.
Among others, Utusan Melayu was seeking an order to remove the alleged libellous article, words, passages or comments from the website.
In her defence filed on March 19, 2009, Kok denied publishing the defamatory words.