Christina Liew's defamation trial against ex-smallholder kicks off

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Jul 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew (pic) testified on the first day of her trial in a defamation suit against a former land development smallholder.

Testifying before the High Court here on Monday (July 20), Liew, who is also Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister said a video circulated widely on WhatsApp had "damaged her credibility and integrity."

"I have suffered severe embarrassment and deep distress as a result, ” said Liew, who also asked the Court for an injunction to restrain the defendant - whether by himself, his servants or agents or otherwise - from publishing or causing to be published or contributing to the publication of the video.

She had initiated the suit on April 30 last year against Leksun Injil for slander and defamatory statements against her in a video recording of himself which went viral over the social media.

The video recording was said to have taken place in May 2018, some time before the May 9 polling day during the 14th General Election.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Justice Leonard Shim presided over the trial.

Liew was represented by Datuk Alex Decena and Jordan Kong, while the defendant was represented by Chong Kian Ming.

Liew, who was the first witness for the trial, gave evidence to court to rebut allegations made against her by the former smallholder of the Bagahak Scheme in Lahad Datu.

In her witness statement, Liew said she was suing the defendant for damages for libel, or alternatively damages for slander, in respect to the video circulated widely via WhatsApp, which had malicious content in an attempt to injure her reputation.

The Api-Api assemblyman and Tawau MP claimed it was also to mislead the public against voting for her in the two constituencies.

Liew said due to the video publication, her credibility and integrity as a person and in her past and current professional positions, had been damaged in the eyes of the public, professional acquaintances and the business community.

Trial continues on Tuesday (July 21).

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