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June dates for Lynas suit against FMT, SMSL

 | May 9, 2012

The judge rules that the matter should be heard in an inter-parte basis as opposed to an ex-parte hearing.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has fixed June 12 and 19 to hear the applications by Australian rare earth miner Lynas to obtain court injunctions against news portal FMT and pressure group Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) respectively to prevent both from releasing “more defamatory material.”

According to FMT’s lawyer, Sreekant Pillai, judge Prasad Sandosham Abraham fixed the dates after deciding today that the matter should be heard in an inter-parte (between the parties) basis instead of ex-parte (by one party).

While SMSL’s matter was being heard by judge John Louis O’Hara, it is possible that both related matters might be heard together.

“Lynas has yet to serve any documents on us, and I believe FMT as well, so we are unaware of a lot of basic information,” said lawyer for SMSL Hon Kai Ping.

“We think that the judges might want to hear it together, but we’ll see what happens,” he added.

However, Hon said that Lynas agreed to serve the documents as soon as possible.

In the main suit, filed on April 19, plaintiffs Lynas Corporation Ltd and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd were suing SMSL Sdn Bhd, its chairman Tan Bun Teet, and Lim Sow Teow, for defamation. Both are shareholders and directors of the SMSL company.

Lynas said an article entitled “Civil Society Organisations’ joint statement on Lynas issue: SMSL & NGOs statement against Lynas” dated March 22 contained statements that were “false”, “damaging” and “defamatory.”

In the suit against FMT’s parent company, MToday News Sdn Bhd, Lynas claimed that the article “Lynas Must Go” dated March 6 also contained “false”, “damaging” and “defamatory” statements.

For both suits, Lynas was seeking general damages, exemplary damages and aggravated damages, costs and interests as well as other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

Lynas was also asking for an injunction to stop both defendants from publishing defamatory statements or articles until the decision of the trial.

On April 20, Lynas announced that it had commenced defamation proceedings at the High Court against FMT and SMSL for “false and misleading statements” which both had allegedly made.


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