PETALING JAYA: Televangelist Dr Zakir Naik will honour his pledge to donate to the Palestinian cause the RM1.52 million in libel damages he won from a former DAP leader, but only after the latter has exhausted the appeal process, the preacher’s lawyer said today.
Akberdin Abdul Kader said the money would be released only after that and is also contingent upon the outcome of P Ramasamy’s appeal.
“My client is fully aware of this position. We have to respect the appeal process and wait until the appeals are exhausted,” he told FMT.
Akberdin said until then, the money would remain in their client’s account.
He said this in response to Ramasamy saying Naik could not pledge the money he was awarded to any cause until all the appeals were over.
Akberdin said it was a given that Naik could not “touch” the money until the final decision of the courts.
“What Naik said is no different from Ramasamy’s pledge to donate the money he collected through crowdfunding to pay the damages – to give to the needy if the appellate court rules in Ramasamy’s favour.”
The High Court had last week ordered Ramasamy to pay damages to Naik after finding for the latter in his defamation suit against the former Penang deputy chief minister.
Naik filed two separate suits in 2019 alleging that Ramasamy had made five defamatory statements about him, which were posted on several
social media sites and reported by a number of news portals between 2016 and 2019.