July 16, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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Court sets Sept 11 to 14 to hear Mahathir’s defamation suit against Zahid

zahid

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — The High Court today fixed four days starting Sept 11 to hear Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s suit against Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over alleged defamatory statements regarding the ‘kutty’ issue.

Lawyer Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi representing Dr Mahathir said Judge Datuk Rozana Ali Yusoff set Sept 11 to 14 for the trial and fixed July 14 for case management before the hearing.

 “We will call two witnesses, Tun Dr Mahathir, and his son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz to testify,” he said when contacted after the case management proceedings held via video conference today, which was also attended by Ahmad Zahid’s lawyer, Mohd Shahril Madisa.

A total of three witnesses, including the defendant (Ahmad Zahid), are expected to testify at the trial.

On July 20 last year, Dr Mahathir, 97, filed a lawsuit against Ahmad Zahid, 70, as a sole defendant, for allegedly issuing defamatory statements regarding the ‘kutty’ issue.

zahid

In his statement of claim, Dr Mahathir claimed that Ahmad Zahid had issued a defamatory statement against him during UMNO divisional meeting in Kelana Jaya on July 30, 2017, and the statement was reproduced on Astro Awani’s YouTube and several online news portals, which can be accessed by internet users without any restrictions.

Dr Mahathir claimed that the slanderous statement meant that he was not born as a Malay or a Muslim with the alleged original name of “Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty” and that he claimed to be a Malay when he became prime minister to gain political and personal advantage apart from belittling Malaysians of Indian Muslim descent.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid in his statement of defence filed on Aug 17 last year through Messrs. Shahrul Hamidi & Haziq, denied that the statement made on July 30, 2017, was malicious to slander and harm the reputation of the plaintiff in the public eye.

The UMNO president claimed that the name “Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty” refers to an individual based on the information in an old copy of an identity card, in addition to claiming that he also has no control over any video publication regarding his statement on the media platform.

NMT as reported by Bernama