Govt seeks to challenge RM11 million damages to The Edge over 1MDB reports

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is seeking to appeal against the RM11 million awarded to a newspaper publisher over its three-month suspension for reporting on state investment fund 1MDB.

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke said they were appealing against the RM11,260,350 awarded by High Court deputy registrar Norazlin Othman to The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd last December.

“For the government, we take the position that no damages ought to be awarded.

“Meanwhile they (the Edge) is also appealing against the deputy registrar’s order to dismiss their claim for aggravated and constitutional damages,” she said after meeting High Court judge Nordin Hassan in chambers today.

Nordin also fixed March 23 for mention pending the deputy registrar’s provision of her written judgment.

“Since this is an appeal, we need to look at the judgment to see how the deputy registrar assessed the damages and what her consideration was in awarding the RM11 million,” Loke said.

The Edge was suspended for three months beginning July 2015 on grounds that its reports on 1MDB were prejudicial to public order and national security and likely to alarm public opinion.

The suspension was revoked by the High Court in September that year, shortly before the suspension was supposed to end.

The Federal Court, in upholding a lower court’s findings that the publisher can claim for damages from the suspension, ordered the High Court to assess the damages.