PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has granted leave to a former driver of actress Zahida Mohamed Rafik to appeal against the Court of Appeal decision which set aside the RM150,000 damages awarded to him in a defamation suit.
The three-man panel chaired by Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif allowed the leave application by Noor Azman Azemi on one legal question to be determined by the court.
The question is whether the publication of the contents of a police report by its maker to the public is protected by absolute privilege.
The other judges on the panel were Justices Ahmad Maarop and Balia Yusof Wahi.
On May 6, Zahida won her appeal to set aside a High Court decision which ordered her to pay RM150,000 in damages to Noor Azman.
The Court of Appeal three man panel chaired by Justice Lim Yee Lan also ordered Noor Azman to return RM200,000 to the actress.
She had accused him of taking the RM200,000.
The court also allowed Zahida's appeal on her counter-claim against Noor Azman, who is now a driver for a private company.
Noor Azman filed the suit against Zahida claiming the actress had wrongfully and with bad intention given defamatory statements in an article published in a Malay tabloid on March 3, 2012 over the loss of RM200,000.
Zahida then filed a counter-claim against Noor Azman for the return of the RM200,000.
On Feb 26, 2015, the High Court ruled that Noor Azman had proved his case on the balance of probabilities and instructed Zahida to pay RM150,000 in damages to Noor Azman.
The court also dismissed Zahida's counter-claim.
Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram acted for Noor Azman while Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah acted for Zahida.
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