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Monday, May 30, 2022

Apandi files appeal in lawsuit against Kit Siang


Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali has gone to the appellate court in his defamation action against DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

The former government top lawyer’s counsel M Visvanathan today confirmed that the notice of appeal has been filed against the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissal of the civil suit.

“We have filed the appeal on May 24. (The Notice of Appeal has been) Duly served on the solicitors for the defendant (Lim),” Visvanathan said when contacted.

Lim’s counsel Sangeet Kaur Deo also confirmed the matter.

On May 23, the High Court dismissed the civil suit, ruling that Lim was justified in his statement urging Apandi to answer why he had absolved former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak of the 1MDB affair in 2016.

Apandi’s suit was over the 2019 article “Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia’s on the road to integrity”, which was published on his blog.

Judge Azimah Omar noted that Lim was justified in raising the issue, especially following Najib’s conviction by a separate High Court in 2020 in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case.

Azimah noted that Najib’s conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal last year.

The lower court also ordered Apandi to pay RM80,000 in legal costs to Lim.

Civil suit

In a civil suit for defamation, justification is a defence that the statements or allegations are factual, and if proven successful in court, this would act as an absolute defence against legal action.

On July 5, 2019, Apandi filed the civil action, alleging that on May 6, 2019, Lim had written the alleged defamatory article.

He claimed that the article implied, among others, that he was involved in the 1MDB financial scandal, was a person with no morals and integrity, was unethical, and had abused his power when he was attorney-general from July 27, 2015, to June 4, 2018.

During the hearing of the civil action in April last year, Apandi broke down in court while testifying against Lim.

On Jan 26, 2016, Apandi, while holding up SRC monetary flow charts during a media briefing, announced that no charges would be brought against Najib based on the investigations carried out by MACC. SRC International was a former subsidiary of 1MDB. - Mkini

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