PUTRAJAYA: National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) and its executive chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail lost their defamation suit against Nurul Izzah Anwar and PKR over a statement regarding the purchase of eight units at the KL Eco City project.
The Court of Appeal today dismissed the appeal by NFCorp and Salleh with RM50,000 costs to Nurul Izzah and party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution.
A three-man bench, chaired by Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, said there was no merit in the appeal.
“In our view, there is no error committed by the trial judge to warrant appellate intervention,” he said.
On March 4, High Court Judge Hue Siew Kheng dismissed the suit, ruling that the statement made by Nurul Izzah was not defamatory of Salleh.
“I agree with the defendant that the statement read as a whole is not defamatory of the plaintiff (Salleh) as the press statement was by Nurul Izzah in her capacity and position as Lembah Pantai MP,” the judge said.
Hue said the statement was directed at Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who is former MP of Lembah Pantai and also Salleh’s wife.
She said a reasonable man would consider the article to be a call for accountability for Shahrizat in light of Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli’s earlier statement on the matter.
On Dec 24, 2013, Salleh filed the suit against Nurul Izzah and Saifuddin, alleging that Nurul Izzah had slandered them in her comments on the alleged disclosure by Rafizi, who was then the PKR’s strategy director, of misappropriation by Salleh.
Rafizi had allegedly said the plaintiffs had purchased eight units of properties at KL Eco City using NFCorp’s funds.
The plaintiffs claimed that Nurul Izzah had made the slanderous statement on Malaysiakini TV on March 7, 2012.
Lawyer Razlan Hadri Zulkifli and Joshua Kevin represented Nurul Izzah and Saifuddin while Muhammad Shafee Abdullah appeared for Salleh and the company.