KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set a three-day trial from Feb 5 next year to hear a defamation suit brought by former Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik against Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamed Sabu.
Mohamed’s lawyer Aminuddin Zulkepli said judicial commissioner Faizah Jamaludin set the trial dates after a case management today.
Two months ago, Rahim filed the suit after Mohamed had alleged that he (Rahim) allegedly raped a minor in 1994 when he was holding public office.
Aminuddin said the judge also ordered parties to exchange documents in preparation of the trial.
“However, she also suggested that the parties go for mediation to settle the case,” Aminuddin told FMT.
The next case management has been fixed on June 8.
Rahim filed a RM1.5 million suit as the disparaging remarks were allegedly calculated to lower his esteem among the public.
Rahim, a former Umno Youth chief and now Risda chairman, said the allegation was untrue as he was not prosecuted for such an offence.
However, he acknowledged police conducted investigations but the attorney-general then had announced he was not pursuing the matter due to insufficient evidence.
Mohamed is said to have made the defamatory statement before a crowd at the Penang Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) branch office on Northam Road on July 1 last year.
He made the speech in protest at the MACC’s arrest of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for alleged corruption.
Rahim, 66, said the statement was malicious and intended to put him in public scandal, odium and contempt.
He said the statement, in its ordinary meaning or by innuendo, meant he was a man of low morals and was above the law.
Rahim said Mohamed’s speech was widely circulated in the social media like YouTube and WhatsApp.
Mohamed is relying on the defence of fair comment and qualified privilege as Rahim’s conduct was of public interest.