Nov 26 hearing of defamation suit by national diver against Utusan

The national diver claims the newspaper intentionally used a heading with her name and image to sensationalise the article for profit.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set five days from Nov 26 for the hearing of a defamation suit filed by a national diver against Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad (UMMB) over an article published in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper.

Judge Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab fixed the dates in chambers in the presence of counsel K Revathi, representing the diver, and lawyer Azhar Arman Ali, for UMMB.

Revathi when met by reporters, said the court also set Aug 28 for case management.

The diver, aged 19, filed the suit last March 1, claiming that UMMB, which was named the defendant, had published an article on Oct 5, 2017, which among others implied that she was a rape victim and involved in doping or drug use.

She claimed  UMMB intentionally used a heading with her name and image to sensationalise the article for profit.

The diver claimed that the publication of the article had affected her dignity and that of her family, as well as caused her to be depressed during training, hence affecting her performance and tarnishing the good name of the country.

She is seeking an injunction to prevent UMMB from taking any action that may prejudice her and also general, special and exemplary damages, interests and costs.

Meanwhile, UMMB, in its statement of defence dated April 9, claimed that the article did not defame the plaintiff as the contents when read as a whole did not cause her to be seen in bad light or as someone involved in drug abuse.

It also claimed the article was fair comment and of public interest.