KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua has resolved his defamation suit against Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd for allegedly implying that he is a criminal.
This was made possible in a mediation process before High Court judge Justice Asmabi Mohamad.
Earlier, Pua’s lawyer Alliff Benjamin told the judge that the parties agreed to resolve the matter amicably with statements to be read out by parties involved in the civil dispute.
Yesterday, Dr Ahmad Zahid read out a statement in an open court saying that he unconditionally retracted the statements which he made to Utusan Melayu in respect of Pua.
“I regret disparaging the reputation of the plaintiff (Pua),” said Dr Ahmad Zahid.
Pua had named Dr Ahmad Zahid, Utusan Melayu and its group editor-in-chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak as defendants in the civil suit.
In his statement of claim, Pua, 41, said Dr Ahmad Zahid, who was then defence minister, had allegedly defamed him through a publication in Utusan Malaysia on March 18, 2011.
Utusan Melayu’s representative, its legal adviser cum company secretary, Shirad Anuar, also read out a statement saying they also unconditionally retracted the alleged defamatory article.
Upon hearing this, Alliff said Pua withdrew the case without the liberty to file the matter afresh.
Justice Asmabi then struck out the suit and thanked the parties for their initiative to resolve the suit.
Speaking to reporters here, Pua said he was happy with the settlement of the suit and that there was no apology involved.
“It is only a statement of retraction and regret for disparaging my reputation.
“This proves that my (alleged) arrest in Singapore and dealing with the Singapore government is completely fictitious,” he added.