Apandi’s RM10 mil defamation suit against Kit Siang likely to go on trial

Former AG Mohamed Apandi Ali (left) filed the suit against DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in July last year over an article claiming he had abetted in the 1MDB scandal.

PETALING JAYA: Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s defamation suit against DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang will likely be determined after a trial in court, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said.

“As of now, there are no signs of a settlement out of court,” said Ramkarpal, who is representing Lim.

He told FMT that High Court judge Azimah Omar had rescheduled case management to April 24.

“It was fixed for today but was taken off the list due to the movement control order to combat the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

In February, Azimah had fixed five days from Sept 28 for the trial, with final case management to be held today.

Apandi’s lawyer, M Visvanathan, had said former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Abu Kassim Mohamed and retired solicitor-general Zauyah T Loth Khan were among 11 witnesses who will testify in the trial.

Abu Kassim was involved in the investigation while Zauyah was one of the prosecutors who went through the investigation papers into 1MDB in 2015.

Apandi filed the suit against Lim in July last year over an article claiming that he had abetted in the 1MDB scandal.

Apandi, who was the attorney-general from July 2015 until May 2018, said Lim had written a defamatory statement published by Malaysiakini on May 6, 2019, titled “Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia is on the road to integrity”.

He said the article implied that Lim had depicted him as someone who was immoral and unethical and practised double standards while holding the position of AG.

The article was also republished and shared on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media, said Apandi.

He is seeking RM10 million in general damages and further compensation for aggravated and exemplary damages, inclusive of 5% interest.

In January 2016, Apandi cleared then prime minister Najib Razak of wrongdoing in the 1MDB and SRC International cases due to a lack of evidence.

He had said the RM2.6 billion found in Najib’s account was a donation from Arab royalty.

In July 2018, Najib was charged with money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in the two cases. The trials are on-going.