KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has fixed March 22 to 26 next year for the hearing of Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik’s defamation suits against Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.
Naik’s lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader told reporters that High Court judge Mohd Firuz Jaffril would hear both cases together.
Naik filed the first suit against the DAP leader in October last year over statements Ramasamy made between 2016 and 2019 which were published on several news sites.
He filed the second suit in December over Ramasamy’s claim that Naik’s camp had created fake news on the revival of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group.
Akberdin said the plaintiff would call five witnesses to testify including Naik.
He said the judge had also instructed them to file their witness statements before March 1 next year.
In his first suit, Naik accused Ramasamy of ridiculing him and painting him as a bad character and a threat to the country’s security.
He said the DAP leader had called him “satan” on Facebook four years ago and accused him of writing a defamatory article titled “Is Malaysia harbouring alleged fugitive Zakir Naik?” carried by FMT in 2017.
He also said Ramasamy had, on Aug 11, 2019, twisted a speech he made in Kota Bharu by accusing him of questioning the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus.
He likewise referred to an interview Ramasamy had given India Today which he called an attempt to spread hatred against him internationally.
Naik is seeking damages as well as an apology from Ramasamy.
He has also filed defamation suits against other DAP leaders such as Ipoh Barat MP M Kula Segaran, Klang MP Charles Santiago and Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy.
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