Zahid files RM220 million defamation suit against Mkini over trial coverage

The suit is over 22 articles, including seven by Bernama, as well as 399 readers’ comments.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has filed an RM220 million defamation suit against Malaysiakini over coverage of his corruption trial.

The lawsuit, filed on March 24, cited 22 articles published by Malaysiakini, including seven Bernama articles as well as 399 comments from readers.

Zahid is currently on trial for 12 charges of CBT, eight charges of corruption and 27 charges of money laundering.

The suit named Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan and a journalist as defendants.

In the defamation suit, Zahid’s legal team contends that several articles, including those written by Bernama, had either misreported or misrepresented the court proceedings and cast negative aspersions on the Umno president.

Besides suing for damages, the Umno president is also seeking an injunction preventing the publication of further defamatory articles and comments by users of the site.

Zahid’s lawyers issued letters of demand against Malaysiakini last August over the articles and the comments in the articles.

Malaysiakini’s lawyer K Shanmuga responded to the letters of demand that same month, seeking further clarification.

“Your notices of demand do not make it clear the particular words and or comments in the appendices which are alleged to be defamatory of your client, but make a general statement that all those news reports bear the same meanings, and are alleged to be defamatory to your client,” the news portal’s lawyer wrote.

Zahid’s side did not respond to the request for clarification.

However, the plaintiffs did highlight which portions of the articles and comments they believed to be defamatory in the lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The lawsuit was filed by Messrs Shahrul Hamidi & Haziq.


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