Ex-detainee’s wife sues Azmi for defamation


  • Nation
  • Friday, 16 Sep 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: The wife of a former ISA detainee is suing the Home Affairs Minister for defamation over remarks he made against her husband. 

Indonesian housewife Romita Hasibuan, 37, named Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid and the Government as defendants in the suit filed in the High Court yesterday.  

Her 47-year-old husband Abd Mutalib Taib, also an Indonesian and a plaintiff in the suit, has been deported after the Immigration Department maintained that his permanent resident status was revoked in 1996. 

In the suit, the plaintiffs claimed that Azmi made defamatory statements against Abd Mutalib at the Parliament lobby at about 10pm on July 12. 

They claimed that the defamatory words uttered to Romita and her four children implied that Abd Mutalib was a criminal and that his family should be banished from Malaysia. 

The plaintiffs maintained that Abd Mutalib had been held under the Internal Security Act and since his detention was without trial he could not be referred to as a criminal. 

The plaintiffs also claimed that Azmi distributed a document to the media entitled Jawapan ke atas Ucapan Penangguhan oleh YB Teresa Kok (Seputeh) pada 12 Julai 2005 (Reply to the Adjournment Speech of YB Teresa Kok (Seputeh) on 12 July 2005) which contained false statements. 

The statements, the plaintiffs argued, implied that Abd Mutalib had falsified documents and was involved in an identity card syndicate from November 1990 to August 1994. 

The Indonesian couple are seeking RM10mil in damages and other awards, as well as a public apology from Azmi.  

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