1MDB reports: Govt ordered to pay publisher RM11 mil over suspension

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya has been ordered to pay over RM11 million in damages to a publisher which had its newspaper suspended for three months in 2015 over its extensive reporting on the 1MDB issue.

High Court deputy registrar Norazlin Othman today awarded the compensatory damages totalling RM11,260,350 and a 4% interest from July 27, 2015 to The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd, until the full settlement of the judgment sum.

However, Norazlin made no order as to costs when the ruling on the assessment of damages was delivered this morning.

It is unclear whether the government would appeal on the quantum of damages awarded.

On Aug 9 last year, the Federal Court dismissed the government’s appeal on damages suffered by the publisher.

A five-man bench chaired by the then Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said there was no merit in the appeal and as such there was no necessity to answer the three questions of law.

“We remit the case to the High Court for assessment of damages,” he said in the unanimous decision.

Lawyer Darryl Goon, now a High Court judicial commissioner, represented the publisher.

FMT was told at the time that the damages suffered could be “fairly substantial” due to losses in advertising and circulation revenue over the period.

The government’s appeal collapsed mainly because it did not file an appeal on liability.

On Aug 30, 2016, the Court of Appeal allowed the publisher to claim damages.

It also upheld the finding of liability by the High Court on Sept 21, 2015.