KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth exco member Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris has denied being the controversial blogger behind the name Papagomo.
The 38-year-old made the denial in a statement of defence in a lawsuit filed against him by former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng and the latter’s son Clint Lim Way Chau.
Lim and his son are suing Wan Muhammad Azri for allegedly spreading false accusations on Way Chau who was said to have brought RM2mil in undeclared cash into Singapore.
“Paragraph 3.1 and 3.2 in the statement of claim is agreed upon except that the defendant is known as Papagomo and places a strong burden of proof on the statement,” it said.
In Lim and Way Chau’s statement of claim, Paragraph 3.1 and 3.2 stated that the defendant was also known as Papagomo, that he is a member of Umno and holds the position of an exco member in the Youth wing of the party.
In response, Lim and Way Chau, through the law firm Simon Murali & Co, have filed interrogatories containing eight questions to Wan Muhammad Azri.
In a civil action, an interrogatory is a list of questions one party sends to another as part of the discovery process.
In the interrogatory document sighted by The Star, one of the questions was whether it was true that Wan Mohammad Azri was also known by the moniker Papagomo.
The High Court had instructed the defendant to reply to the questions through an affidavit within 14 days after the expiry of the movement control order (MCO).
During case management via online proceedings on Tuesday (June 15), High Court deputy registrar Haslinda A. Raof fixed July 13 for further case management.
On Oct 15, Lim and Way Chau filed the lawsuit claiming that the defendant had posted on his Facebook page a purported defamatory statement alleging that the second plaintiff (Way Chau) was detained at Singapore's Changi Airport on Feb 29, 2020, for bringing in RM2mil cash without proper declaration.
They claimed that the statement, which was posted on March 14, 2020, had been read by the public and received about 2,900 "Likes", comments from 416 Facebook users, and was shared by 315 people on the same day.
The plaintiffs said in their statement of claim that the second plaintiff was not even at Changi Airport on the date and time in the defamatory statement.
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs contended that at all material times, the defendant, an Umno Youth executive council member, is also known as Papagomo and the owner of Facebook account "Papa Azri".
The plaintiffs said the defamatory statement had tarnished their reputation, humiliated them and embarrassed them in the eyes of the public as well as exposed them to public scandal, hatred and being insulted and ridiculed.
They are seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.
In his statement of defence, Wan Muhammad Azri denied having posted or published any statements defamatory to the plaintiffs on his Facebook page.