KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has withdrawn its defamation suit against PKR vice-president Tian Chua (pic) after he issued an apology over his comments alleging the party had orchestrated the Lahad Datu intrusion by a Sulu armed group.
Both parties agreed to the settlement and the verdict was delivered in chambers before High Court Judicial Commissioner Rosilah Yop.
Tian Chua, who is Batu MP, told reporters outside the courtroom that he had not meant to insult Umno through his comments, which were published on the PKR online portal KeadilanDaily.com.
The offending article would also be withdrawn as part of the settlement. There was no order as to costs.Umno executive secretary Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh confirmed that a mutual settlement had been reached.
On March 15 last year, Ab Rauf filed the suit at the High Court through Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak.
The suit named Tian Chua, portal editor Fazallah Pit and the article’s author Aisha Geoffrey as defendants.
In his statement of claim, Ab Rauf said Tian Chua, during an interview with the portal’s journalist, had accused Umno of being a conspirator in the Lahad Datu incident, thereby implying that the party was a traitor to the country.
Ab Rauf had sought an injunction and general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an apology from the defendants.
In his statement of defence filed on April 22, Tian Chua said he did not defame Umno in any manner.
He claimed that the statement was fair comment and made on an occasion of qualified privilege as a member of parliament.