KUALA LUMPUR: A drama producer lost his RM10mil defamation suit against TV3 over an interview in its Melodi programme which implied he was having an affair.
High Court judge Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohammad ruled that Jurey Latiff Mohd Rosli had full knowledge of the topics that would be broached during the programme.
"The plaintiff knew exactly what he was responding to and the defendant had given him an opportunity to respond to allegations via the programme, so there is no dispute on consent," the judge said.
Jurey Latiff had filed a lawsuit on Jan 13, 2009, claiming that the programme aired by TV3 at 12.30pm on Sept 21, 2008 had defamed him.
He said the host, Nas Ahmad, had implied that he was an immoral individual, a dishonest and an irresponsible husband and father as well as one who neglects his wife and children.
In its statement of defence, TV3 cited qualified privilege to make the comments as it was a public broadcaster and had a moral and social duty to publish any knowledge it acquires of individuals who are dishonest, immoral, or exhibit an absence of integrity so the public can be fully informed.
Mediation attempts on November last year had failed, bringing the matter to a full hearing in May.
Justice Nik Hasmat also ruled that there was no malice on the defendant's part, and that there was no ulterior motive in the programme.
She said the plaintiff had chosen to use the opportunity to be interviewed as a platform to air his position, and that he could have refused.
She termed Jurey Latiff's contention of malice as "barely clutching at the last straws" made as a "pure afterthought", and there was no evidence to support his claims.
Justice Nik Hasmat ordered the plaintiff to pay RM25,000 in costs.
Jurey Latiff's counsel, Sham Sunder, told reporters he will consult his client on the possibility of appeal.