KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has fixed four days starting Nov 6 to hear Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s suit against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over allegations that Ahmad Zahid used his position to influence the latter to interfere in Ahmad Zahid’s ongoing criminal cases in court.
Lawyer Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi, representing former prime minister Dr Mahathir, said Deputy Registrar Nor Afidah Idris set Nov 6 to 9 for the trial and April 14 for case management before the hearing.
“The trial will be heard by Judge Rozana Ali Yusoff at 10am,” the counsel said after the matter came up for case management online on Friday (March 24).
Ahmad Zahid filed the defamation suit against Dr Mahathir on April 20 last year.
Based on the statement of claim, Ahmad Zahid stated that Dr Mahathir, who was Pejuang chairman, had issued defamatory statements with malicious intent against him at a Pejuang event at Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana, Putrajaya, on Feb 23, 2022.
The event was held in conjunction with the 15th Johor state election.
A video recording of the defamatory statements was republished live on the same day on Astro Awani’s YouTube account, which had 1.4 million subscribers and can be accessed via the Internet, he said, adding that on the day the writ of summons and statement of claim were filed, the video had received a total of 23,443 views.
He claimed the video recording was also widely reported through various social media mediums, namely YouTube account of “MalaysiaGazette TV’, Facebook profile of “Astro AWANI” and TikTok account of “MalaysiaGazette TV”, as well as online news portals such as Berita Harian Online, Agenda Daily, The Malaysian Reserve, Malaysia Now, MalayMail and the New Straits Times.
The Bagan Datuk MP claimed that the statements meant that he was a person who used shortcuts to resolve and postpone the trial of his ongoing court cases and used his position to influence Dr Mahathir to interfere in his criminal trials and investigations by law enforcement agencies.
Ahmad Zahid said the statements tarnished and damaged his reputation and good name, as well as his credibility as Umno president and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman.
He is seeking general damages, aggravated and exemplary damages, interest, as well as an order to compel the defendant to publish an unconditional apology in writing in a newspaper to be determined by him (Ahmad Zahid) and costs, as well as other relief deemed fit by the court. – Bernama