GEORGE TOWN: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's defamation suit against four defendants has been settled with the former Opposition leader agreeing to accept a public apology.
The terms of settlement were negotiated after five hours in chambers at the Penang High Court here Monday.
The first defendant Datuk Ranjit Singh Dhillon agreed to apologise in court and retract his statement.
Journalists Adrian Lai, Looi Sue-Chern and The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad were ordered to pay RM60,000 in costs.
The paper will issue a printed apology.
Earlier, Anwar arrived at the court at 9.30am under heavy police guard.
Before the trial began, Anwar's family members and lawyers received word that the defendants were trying to reach a settlement.
At 4.30pm, the court convened and Ranjit Singh read out his apology in open court before Justice Datuk Rosilah Yop.
Anwar's suit against the defendants was originally set to go for trial over allegations that he had paid Karpal Singh RM50mil by cheque as a legal fee to bribe judges and prosecuting officers.
In his suit filed on Oct 26, 2015, Anwar named Ranjit, Looi, Lai and the English daily as defendants.
Anwar claimed that the first defendant had uttered malicious and defamatory words in a press statement on Aug 6, 2013 to ruin his good name and reputation following an article "Prove you have nothing to hide” published on the same day.
The second and third defendants, he added, had reported the article for the daily, while the fourth defendant published and distributed the article.