Muhyiddin Yassin said in court documents that Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had shown him a large stack of files related to his criminal cases and asked for his help to intervene in the court proceedings.
In the documents filed at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on April 26, Muhyiddin, 74, claimed that Zahid, 69, who is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, made the request after attending a meeting at the former prime minister’s house.
“After I was sworn in as the eighth prime minister, a meeting was held at my house to discuss, among other things, the formation of a new cabinet.
“Several individuals attended the meeting, including the plaintiff, Mohamed Azmin Ali and Abdul Hadi Awang. When the meeting ended, the plaintiff requested to speak to me privately and I requested Azmin to join the discussion.
“During the discussion, he showed me a large stack of files which he brought along for the meeting. When I asked him why he brought the files, he explained that the files were in relation to the criminal cases against him which he claimed were politically motivated. He proclaimed his innocence and requested my help,” Muhyiddin said.
The former prime minister said this in his affidavit-in-reply against the injunction application filed by Zahid in his defamation suit on allegations that he had sought the latter’s help to settle or postpone his court cases.
Muhyiddin also said that when he heard Zahid’s request, he told him that he could not and would not interfere in the court proceedings, and advised Zahid to defend himself in court if he was truly innocent.
He said he was also made to understand by Hadi that prior to the meeting at his house, Zahid had met him (Hadi) and also showed him the stack of files while claiming his innocence.
“However, Hadi told the plaintiff that the purpose of the meeting at my house was to discuss government affairs,” Muhyiddin added.
Muhyiddin said there was no reason for Zahid to show him the files and make such a request unless it was to seek his intervention in the criminal proceedings against him.
Muhyiddin also denied that the statements he had made during the 15th Johor state election campaign in Mersing, at the compound of the Learning Centre Sentuhan Kasih Felda Tenggaroh 3, on Feb 16, were false or defamatory in nature, or stated with malicious intent.
Lawyer Shahrul Fazli Kamarulzaman, representing Zahid, when contacted by Bernama confirmed that the inter-partes application for the injunction by his client in his defamation suit against Muhyiddin would be heard on May 25 before High Court judge Rozana Ali Yusoff.
In the suit filed on April 4, the Bagan Datuk MP sought an ex-parte injunction for Muhyiddin or his representative to withdraw the allegedly defamatory statements against him.
He also sought an interim injunction for the defendant to delete, edit and stop the publication of the part of the video footage which contained the statement in online news portals and social media, including on Perikatan Nasional’s Facebook page, Astro Awani’s YouTube channel and KiniTV.
Zahid claimed that Muhyiddin’s statement implied he had used a shortcut to settle and postpone his ongoing court cases, that he had asked for Muhyiddin’s help to intervene in the court cases and the judiciary system and that he was not a respectable and exemplary leader.
Zahid claimed that the allegations were false and aimed at tarnishing his name and reputation and that it was made by the defendant after the Election Commission’s announcement on the Johor state election.
He is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an order for Muhyiddin to publish a public apology in newspapers, and other reliefs and costs deemed fit by the court.