KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8, 2015:
The defamation suit filed by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed against Pas and Harakah Daily comes to an end following an apology by the latter in the High Court here today.
The second to fifth defendants — Pas, its former secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali, Harakah Daily’s editor-in-chief Zulkifli Sulong and editor Azmi Yusof apologised to the plaintiff for the distress and embarrassment caused to him as a result of the defamatory statement published in an article titled Lahad Datu: Menteri sepatutnya letak jawatan.
High Court judge Nor Bee Ariffin ordered the four defendants to pay a cost of RM20,000 collectively to Mustapa, or Tok Pa as he is more commonly known as.
In an apology draft read out by lawyer Sharifah Nur Asmaa’ Syed Azman who appeared for the four defendants this morning, she said they recognised there was no foundation to the impugned words and allegations against Mustapa.
Therefore, the four defendants retract and apologise to the plaintiff if the article has injured his feelings, dignity and reputation.
Lawyer Lew Cho Kang represented Mustapa today.
While the suit against the four ended today, the trial against the first defendant, former Pas vice-president Datuk Husam Musa will continue as it has been fixed on Jan 27 next year since the parties failed to come to a settlement agreement.
Mustapa filed the suit against the five on April 2013 over the defamatory words in which he claimed has painted him as a corrupted leader and a politician who cannot be trusted.
The defamation suit arose after Mustapa alleged Husam had defamed him in a speech delivered in Machang, Kelantan.
Subsequently, the excerpts of the speech was published in Harakah Daily.
Mustapa is seeking damages for libel and malicious falsehood as well as an injunction against the defendants.