Utusan-Redberry dispute settled out of court

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 15): The RM8.5 million legal dispute between media company Redberry Sdn Bhd and Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd is now settled out of court.

Lawyer Chew Chang Min who acted for Redberry told theedgemarkets.com that both parties have agreed to the settlement.

However, he maintained his silence on the terms and conditions of the settlement, saying both parties had agreed that the terms remain undisclosed.

The confirmation of settlement was made this morning before the High Court's Deputy Registrar Erry Shahriman Nor Aripin.

Lawyer Nurfazreen Hazrina Rahim, who appeared on behalf of Utusan, confirmed she was instructed to file a notice of discontinuance (NOD) and to withdraw the counterclaim against Redberry today.

The appeal against the High Court's decision in allowing Redberry a summary judgment is also withdrawn, she added.

She said the High Court allowed the application of withdrawal and made no order as to costs.

On Feb 11 this year, the High Court had allowed an application filed by Redberry on Oct 19, 2018 for summary judgment and ordered Utusan to pay cost of RM5,000.

A summary judgment is a decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented in the legal pleadings and documents filed, without a trial or calling of witnesses.

Utusan then filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal two days after the High Court decision.

On Sept 5, 2018, Redberry, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ancom Bhd, claimed that Utusan had failed to refund an RM8.5 million deposit paid for a 48-month campaign worth RM10 million. The company was also seeking interest of 5% per year on the amount and costs on a full indemnity basis.

However, Utusan then filed a counterclaim against Redberry for, inter alia, the sums totalling RM48.32 million, general damages and exemplary damages under the main suit still subsisting.

On Aug 20, 2018, the Malay-language newspaper and publisher was classified as a Practice Note 17 company as it defaulted in its principal and profit payment to Maybank Islamic Bhd and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd totalling RM1.18 million, and was unable to provide a solvency declaration to Bursa Malaysia.