KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s defamation trial against Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been rescheduled to be heard for four days beginning Oct 17, 2024.
The former prime minister’s lawyer, Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi, said the trial dates were fixed following online case management before deputy registrar Afidah Idris today.
Counsel Intan Hanis Afiqah Razali represented Zahid, who is also Umno president.
Mior said another case management will be held on Jan 12 before a new trial judge who will replace Justice Rozana Ali Yusoff, who was transferred to Penang two months ago.
Rozana had earlier fixed four days from today to preside over the trial where Zahid, the plaintiff, had been expected to take the witness stand as the first witness and to be cross-examined.
Last week, FMT reported that the trial was vacated as no judge was assigned to hear the matter.
Zahid, 70, had filed the suit after Mahathir, 98, claimed the former had sought his assistance to have corruption charges he was facing “dropped”.
At a press conference on Feb 23 last year, Mahathir claimed Zahid and several others had met him at his home soon after Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the 14th general election (GE14) in May 2018.
He is alleged to have said Zahid wanted to be “friendly” with him before Mahathir became the prime minister for a second time in May 2018.
Zahid claimed Mahathir’s remarks were untrue, unwarranted, unsubstantiated and mischievous.
Mahathir, in his defence, has stood by his remarks and is relying on the defence of justification.