KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 – The defamation suit filed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pix) against Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and its group editor-in-chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak over the issue on the terrorist intrusion in Lahad Datu, Sabah, was settled today. The matter was resolved with the two defendants submitting a statement of regret for their action, the text of which was read by their lawyer, Wan Azmir Wan Majid, before High Court judge Datuk Noraini Abdul Rahman.
In the statement, Utusan Melayu and Abdul Aziz pledged that they, or their agents, representatives and workers, would not publish, repeat, or caused the said words to be published again. According to the terms of the settlement, the two defendants would pay cost of RM50,000 to Anwar, represented by lawyer Datuk S. Ambiga. Noraini recorded the settlement and then thanked the plaintiff and defendants for agreeing to settle the case.
Anwar filed the suit on March 8, 2013, claiming that Utusan Melayu published an article on its front page titled, “Ketua Pembangkang dikaitkan dengan pencerobohan?” (Opposition Leader Linked To Intrusion?) and an article on page nine with the title “Tiga kumpulan menjadi dalang” (Three Groups Were Responsible) on March 2, 2013. He claimed that the report was also aired on TV3’s Buletin Utama between 8pm and 9pm the same day.
Besides Utusan Melayu and Abdul Aziz, Anwar also named TV3, Media Prima Berhad group managing editor Datuk Shaharudin Latif and Buletin Utama news editor Ing Boon Seng as defendants. The suit against TV3 is still on and the court has set Oct 26 for case management. Also present in court at today’s proceeding were Anwar’s wife, Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. — Bernama