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Friday January 13, 2012

Former UIA don sues MP and paper over slander allegations

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) law professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari is suing Kulim Bandar Baru MP Datuk Zulkifli Noordin and Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd for allegedly defaming him in relation to his remarks on the Sultan of Selangor's decree on a church raid.

Dr Abdul Aziz also named Utusan Malaysia group editor-in-chief Datuk Aziz Ishak as a defendant in the defamation suit.

In his lawsuit, Dr Abdul Aziz said Zulkifli had on Oct 17 last year uttered slanderous words against him, which were published in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper the next day.

He said the words implied that he was rude and not qualified to be a lecturer or a law professor.

He said the publication had caused him to suffer embarrassment, humiliation and torment in terms of dignity, credibility, character and reputation.

Dr Abdul Aziz said he has been insulted and ridiculed among society by the article.

He said Zulkifli had uttered such words which were published by Utusan on purpose, without any cross-checks and without considering his dignity.

He said he had sent a notice to the defendants to withdraw the allegations, apologise to him and pay damages but they did not.

In the lawsuit, filed on Dec 22 last year, he is seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages, costs and further relief deemed fit by the court.

He is asking the High Court to direct the defendants to apologise to him and retract all defamatory words in the front page of Utusan Malaysia newspaper within 24 hours from the court order.

Yesterday, the parties met deputy registrar Norhatini Abd Hamid in chambers for directives.

Lawyer Azhana Mohd Khairudin acted for Dr Abdul Aziz while counsel Rohanidah Shafee acted for Utusan.

Rohanidah said that the suit was set for case management before High Court judge Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof on Feb 10.

Rohanidah said Zulkifli, however, only recently received a copy of claim and was unrepresented in the court proceedings yesterday.

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