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Tuesday July 22, 2008 MYT 7:20:19 PM

Two sue Raja Petra for defamation (updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Two lieutenant colonels from the army have sued blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for defamation over his allegations that the couple was at the crime scene the night Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered.

Lt Kol Abdul Aziz Buyong and Lt Kol Norhayati Hassan are seeking RM1mil each in damages from the Malaysia Today editor as well as exemplary damages, costs and interest.

They are also seeking an injunction to restrain Raja Petra or his agents from further defaming them in any way.

Their suit was filed at the registry of the High Court civil division here on Tuesday through Messrs Gan, Rao & Chuah, a Malacca-based firm.

In their statement, Lt Kol Abdul Aziz and Lt Kol Norhayati -- who are both attached to the army's engineering corps -- highlighted five portions of Raja Petra's June 18 statutory declaration (SD) that they deemed were libellous towards them.

The two, who reside in Taman Setapak Indah here, alleged that the defendant had prepared and distributed the SD with malicious intent to jeopardise and ruin their reputation, credibility, good name and career.

They said the SD had been published on Raja Petra's web portal as well as other blogs like anwaribrahimblog.com, sloone.wordpress.com and rights2write.wordpress.com, which subsequently led to the publication of the SD's contents in local newspapers.

Lt Kol Abdul Aziz and Lt Kol Norhayati also claimed the blogger intended to create a public scandal and instigate hatred towards them.

They claimed the blogger's actions had resulted in them having to endure shameful and embarrassing words and emotional stress when their families, colleagues, neighbours and relatives learned of the SD’s contents.

The couple added that the SD had also exposed them to hatred, humiliation and ridicule in the eyes of the public.

Lt Kol Abdul Aziz and Lt Kol Norhayati said they both had clean records and were also senior officers in the Malaysian Army.

They also claimed Raja Petra, at all material times, had the full knowledge that his allegations in his SD were untrue and were a concoction.

The couple said the defendant had yet to respond to their letter of demand dated June 26 and that they had filed police reports at the Jalan Tun Razak police station on June 30 to protect their interests.

On July 6, Raja Petra was questioned under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a witness in connection with a police report lodged against him by the Attorney-General's Chambers over his statutory declaration.

About a week later, he was charged with three counts of criminal defamation but refused to make a plea to the charges, claiming that they were defective and smacked of mala fide (malice).

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