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Zahid's defamation suit against Mahathir to be heard in November

The Umno president sued Dr Mahathir Mohamad last year over claims that he had used his position to influence the former leader to interfere in his court cases.

2 minute read
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today fixed four days from Nov 6 to hear Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s suit against Dr Mahathir Mohamad over allegations that Zahid used his position to influence the latter to interfere in his ongoing criminal cases in court.

Lawyer Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi, representing the former prime minister, 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 lawyer said after the matter came up for online case management today.

Zahid filed the defamation suit against Mahathir on April 20 last year.

He said in his statement of claim that Mahathir, who was the 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 statements was republished live on the same day on Astro Awani's YouTube account, which had 1.4 million subscribers and could be accessed via the internet, he said, adding that on the day that 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 on social media, namely the 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, MalaysiaNow, Malay Mail and New Straits Times.

The Bagan Datuk MP claimed that the statements meant he was a person who used shortcuts to resolve and postpone the trial of his ongoing court cases and had used his position to influence Mahathir to interfere in his criminal trials and investigations by law enforcement agencies.

Zahid said the statements had tarnished and damaged his reputation and name, as well as his credibility as Umno president and Barisan Nasional 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 a newspaper to be determined by Zahid, and costs as well as other forms of relief deemed fit by the court.