Liew’s defamation suit against Azwanddin may be settled out of court

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 9, 2019.

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KUALA LUMPUR: The defamation suit filed by Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong over two articles in relation to the communist uniform issue against Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Datuk Azwanddin Hamzah may be settled out of court.

The case was called up for case management before High Court Judge Datuk Azimah Omar yesterday.

Lawyer Asheeq Ali, who appeared on behalf of Liew, told reporters both parties were given three weeks until July 26 to explore the possibility of a settlement.

If they are unable to reach it before the trial, the case will proceed with a trial, which is scheduled to begin on Sept 23, he added.

“We will update the court on the outcome of the settlement,” Asheeq said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Sarah Abishegam, who represented Azwanddin, said both parties will now focus on settlement.

In the last proceedings, the High Court fixed three days of hearing for the case from Sept 23.

Liew filed the suit through legal firm Messr Karpal Singh & Co at the High Court registry here last Dec 27.

In a statement, DAP legal bureau’s chairman Ramkarpal Singh said Azwanddin was being sued for a Facebook post in which the latter alleged that the deputy minister intentionally wore a “communist uniform” to a military event.

Azwanddin was alleged to have uploaded an image and captioned it with the remark last Oct 30.

It was also over an article written by Azwanddin on JMM’s website last Nov 19, with the title “Kementerian Pertahanan Kini Berada Dalam Tekanan Dan Ancaman” (The defence ministry is under pressure and threat).

Liew is seeking RM20 million in general and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction restraining Azwanddin from publishing similar articles.