KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today ordered Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd to pay RM200,000 in damages to former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in a defamation suit which the court ruled in his favour two years ago.
The suit was over two articles published by Utusan on Anwar’s comments to the BBB during an interview on homosexual laws.
Judge Datuk Hue Siew Kheng ordered Utusan and its group editor-in-chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak, who were named defendants in the suit, to pay RM100,000 in general damages and another RM100,000 in aggravated damages to Anwar.
The court also ordered the defendants to pay RM8,000 in costs.
In her decision, Hue said the court found that the articles published by the defendants were with malice and the defendants also failed to prove defence of justification in the case.
On Jan 21, 2013, Justice Datuk V. T. Singham ruled that the two articles published by Utusan Melayu on Jan 17, 2012 relating to Anwar’s interview with the BBC were defamatory and allowed the plaintiff’s claim with RM45,000 costs.
Anwar filed the suit on Jan 10, 2012 seeking RM50 million in damages for the defamatory articles which appeared on the front page and page 10 of Utusan Malaysia.
He contended that the words in the articles implied he was a Muslim leader who held views inconsistent with the teachings of Islam.
Anwar, who was represented by lawyer N.Surendran and Latheefa Koya, was present at today’s proceedings.
Lawyer Muhammad Asmirul Asraf Fadli, representing the defendants, said he would get further instruction from his clients whether to appeal against the decision. – BERNAMA