The Court of Appeal today dismissed an appeal by inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar and Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to strike out a defamation lawsuit brought against them by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
A three-man panel chaired by Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh ruled that the case should proceed for a full trial at the High Court.
He said High Court judge John Louis O’Hara was right in exercising his discretion to disallow the lawsuit to be struck out.
Presiding on the panel with Mohd Zawawi were Justices Abdul Rahman Sebli and Prasad Sandosham Abraham.
Khalid and Ismail Sabri were appealing against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision, made last June 17, in dismissing their applications to strike out the suit.
Nurul Izzah, who is Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament, is suing Khalid and Ismail Sabri over statements allegedly made by them after the appearance of a photograph showing her with self-styled Sulu princess Jacel Kiram.
She claimed that Khalid had allegedly uttered slanderous words against her during a press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters on Nov 22, last year, while Ismail Sabri had uttered similar defamatory words during a media event in his Bera parliamentary constituency in Pahang on the same day.
In her statement of claim, Nurul Izzah claimed the words implied, among others, that she was involved in the Sulu intrusion in Sabah In 2013.
The High Court had set May 8 to 11 next year for trial.
Senior federal counsel Alice Loke, representing Khalid and Ismail Sabri, told reporters that the Attorney-General’s Chambers would consider whether to bring the matter up to the Federal Court.
Lawyers R Sivarasa and Shahid Adli Kamarudin represented Nurul Izzah.