KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here extended an ad interim injunction granted to former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who had filed a defamation suit against former Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam.
Ismail’s lawyer, Joshua Tan, said Justice Ahmad Shahrir Salleh prolonged the injunction after hearing that there was now a likelihood of the parties settling the suit out of court.
“The judge has fixed a mention on Jan 5 for the parties to update him on the status of the case. He has also extended the ad interim injunction,” Tan said.
On Sept 26, the High Court granted Ismail an ex parte injunction compelling Lokman to remove a video from his social media accounts pending the disposal of his defamation suit.
The inter partes hearing to determine whether the injunction ought to be maintained while awaiting the conclusion of the case was scheduled to be heard today.
Pending the hearing, the court issued an ad interim injunction, which was scheduled to expire today.
An ad interim injunction is a temporary injunction granted by the court until the disposal of a formal application.
Ismail was appointed the prime minister on Aug 20, 2021 and held the post until Nov 24 this year.
He filed the suit against Lokman on Sept 8 over a video titled “Bila Presiden Umno panggil Tak Datang! Tapi PM Ada Masa Jumpa Mahathir – Lokman Adam”.
In his statement of claim, Ismail said Lokman had uploaded the video on his TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook accounts on Aug 22. He said the video contained statements that were defamatory, untrue and malicious.
Lokman claimed that Ismail had met former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several leaders of political parties opposed to Umno to enable him to remain the prime minister while sidelining the interests of his own party, Umno.
He claimed that Ismail had offered to appoint Mukhriz Mahathir as the deputy prime minister in return for Mahathir’s support.
Lokman also alleged that Ismail abused his power to stop the prosecution of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.
He also alleged that Ismail had interfered to ensure that former prime minister Najib Razak was convicted and jailed.
Ismail said the allegations in the video lowered his reputation among Umno members and had caused him mental and emotional stress.
In his defence to Ismail’s suit, Lokman claimed the video was not defamatory and was not done with malicious intent.
He is also relying on the defences of justification, qualified privilege and fair comment.
Lokman has also filed a counterclaim against Ismail on grounds that he had allegedly suffered financial loss as a result of taking down the video from his social media accounts.
He said Ismail had misled the court when seeking the temporary injunction.
Lawyer Logan Eskander, S Suresh and Faiz Abdul Rahim represented Lokman.