PUTRAJAYA, Aug 30 – The Court of Appeal here today dismissed an appeal by Umno Youth vice-chief Khairul Azwan Harun against a High Court’s decision in dismissing a defamation suit he filed against Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Mohd Rafizi Ramli in connection with Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) property dealings in Australia.
Judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, who led a three-man panel, dismissed the appeal by Khairul Azwan on grounds that it had no merit and ordered him to pay costs of RM10,000 to Mohd Rafizi. The panel, which included Justices Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, made the ruling after hearing submissions from lawyers Datuk M. Reza Hassan, representing Khairul Azwan, and William Leong, acting for Mohd Rafizi.
The High Court had on Oct 20 last year rejected Khairul Azwan’s suit against Mohd Rafizi. Khairul Azwan filed the suit on July 30, 2015, claiming that Mohd Rafizi had made slanderous statements against him over Mara’s purchase of property in Australia. Khairul Azwan said he called for a press conference that same day to refute Mohd Rafizi’s statements.
In the statement of claim, Khairul Azwan also stated that Mohd Rafizi published and disseminated defamatory statements about him during a press conference at his (Mohd Rafizi) office at Uni Infiniti Mind Development Centre here on July 6, 2015 (Monday).
Khairul Azwan who is Biosis Group Berhad director, claimed the statements by Mohd Rafizi, among others, had questioned his alleged involvement in the business dealings involving the purchase of property at 746 Swanston Street by a company wholly owned by Mara Inc, Thrushcross Land Holdings Limited.
He said the defamatory words, which were published on online portals and accessible to users worldwide, implied that Khairul Azwan had interest in the business which resulted in Thrushcross Land Holdings Limited to experience leakage of RM63 million. As a result of that, Khairul Azwan said his reputation as a businessman and politician had been tarnished and he is seeking general and aggravated damages. — Bernama