KUALA LUMPUR: High Court judge Zaki Abdul Wahab has asked Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and Red Shirts leaders Jamal Yunos to settle out of court a defamation suit filed by the former.
Jamal’s lawyer Nasir Yusof said the judge advised both parties not to prolong the matter.
“He has advised both parties to seek an amicable settlement without having to go through a trial,” Nasir told reporters.
The judge has fixed the next case management on Jan 9 to report to him the status of the case.
Nasir said he would advise Jamal.
“It is up to him to make a decision and I will only take instruction,” Nasir said.
Meanwhile, Maria said she would also consider the judge’s advice.
Lawyer Melissa Sasidaran appeared for Maria.
On Oct 7, Maria sued Jamal, who is also Sungai Besar Umno division chief, for reportedly claiming that Bersih 2.0 was infiltrated by members of the Islamic State (IS) group.
He allegedly first made the claim during a press conferences at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and is then alleged to have repeated it at Bukit Aman.
Maria claimed that her reputation had been tarnished by Jamal.
His statement implied that she abetted the terrorist group, the Bersih 2.0 chief said.
In seeking damages, Maria noted that Jamal had compounded his allegations by asking for action to be taken against her.
She sent a letter of demand to Jamal on Oct 4, asking him to apologise within 48 hours.
Jamal held a press conference the next day, saying that he would not apologise and then made a public spectacle by getting the media to witness him flushing the letter of demand down a toilet.