Anwar’s defamation suit against TV3, Mazlan to be settled out of court

Anwar Ibrahim had filed the suit stating that the allegations had made him look like he was a politician who lacked integrity, was of low morals and unfit to hold public office as he offered bribes.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today adjourned till next Wednesday to record a possible settlement of a defamation suit filed by Anwar Ibrahim against Mazlan Ismail, Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd (TV3) and Utusan Melayu.

The PKR leader had filed the suit against Mazlan, who was the Barisan Nasional candidate for Permatang Pauh constituency in the 2013 general election, and the Umno-controlled media for implying that he had bribed the judiciary and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Mazlan’s counsel Hasnal Rezua Merican said his client and TV3 had agreed to record a consent judgment.

However, Hasnal said the settlement did not involve Utusan Melayu.

“They (Mazlan and TV3) agreed to retract the article, issue the apology and pay costs. But the draft of the retraction and apology has yet to be prepared.

“The consent judgment will be recorded on Wednesday.

“Since Mazlan is in Mecca performing his haj and will only be back on Sept 19, the court has fixed Sept 28 for him to read out his apology in open court,” he said.

Lawyer Azhar Arman Ali, representing Utusan Melayu, said it was up to his client whether they wanted to proceed with the case or also enter into an amicable settlement.

“I have indicated to the judge that there is a possibility for a settlement,” he said.

The suit came about when Mazlan, whom Anwar defeated in the 2013 general election, claimed to have received letters alleging that Anwar had paid his lawyer, the late Karpal Singh, more than RM50 million since 2008 as legal fees and bribes to judges and prosecutors.

At the time the statement was made, Anwar said he was the opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP, and the allegation put him in low esteem in the eyes of the public.

Karpal, who was Anwar’s lead counsel in a sexual misconduct case, was killed in a car accident on April 17, 2014.

Anwar is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

He said the statement by the defendants implied that he was a politician who lacked integrity, was of low morals and unfit to hold public office as he offered bribes.