KUALA LUMPUR: Businessman Deepak Jaikishan, who has been sued by the family of the late private investigator, P Balasubramaniam (better known as PI Bala), is using his first defence statement to contest the family’s lawsuit.
The family’s lawyer, Americk Sidhu, said Deepak’s new lawyers agreed to withdraw the second defence statement filed by his former lawyer, Shafee Abdullah.
“They have also withdrawn the application to strike out our suit,” he said after meeting High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng today for case management.
Deepak, in his first defence filed on Oct 25 last year, had said former prime minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor had masterminded PI Bala’s family exile to India in 2008.
Shafee, however, filed a second defence for Deepak in November that absolved the couple of any wrongdoing.
PI Bala’s wife, A Santamil Selvi, then sought to strike out Deepak’s second defence and disqualify Shafee’s firm from representing the businessman.
Americk also said the Court of Appeal will hear on July 25 the appeal by Najib, Rosmah and six others against the High Court decision to deny their bid to strike out Santamil’s lawsuit.
Santamil filed the lawsuit against Najib, Rosmah, Deepak and six others, alleging the family suffered intentional harm as a result of their Indian exile.
The six others named in the lawsuit included Najib’s brothers, Mohd Nazim and Johari, lawyers Sunil Abraham, Cecil Abraham and Arulampalam Mariampillai, and commissioner for oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat.
Santamil claimed they had deprived her family of a normal life and caused them to suffer financial and non-financial losses.
Santamil and her two children, Kishen and Menaga, are seeking damages for losses suffered from July 2008 as a result of their five-year displacement.
PI Bala was previously embroiled in a controversy over his two conflicting statutory declarations (SD) in the high-profile 2006 murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
He was forced to leave Malaysia for India in a hurry after signing the second SD on July 4, 2008, a day after the first was released.
Balasubramaniam, in the second SD, said he wished to retract the entire contents of his first SD dated July 1, as it had been made under duress.
Balasubramaniam, a key witness in the Altantuya trial, died of a heart attack on March 15, 2013, weeks after returning from India.
He was hired by political analyst and Najib’s associate Abdul Razak Baginda to monitor Altantuya before her disappearance.