KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth exco member Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris has denied being the controversial blogger called 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 his son Clint Lim Way Chau.
Guan Eng, 60, and Way Chau, 29, are suing Wan Muhammad Azri for allegedly spreading false accusations about Way Chau who was said to have brought in 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, ” the statement said.
Paragraph 3.1 and 3.2 in Guan Eng and Way Chau’s statement of claim 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, Guan Eng 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.
According to lawyer Simon Murali, who is representing the plaintiffs, the interrogatories are meant to bring out straight answers from the defendant.
In the interrogatory document sighted by The Star, one of the questions was whether it was true that Wan Muhammad Azri was also known by the moniker Papagomo.
According to Simon, 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.
During case management via e-review yesterday, High Court deputy registrar Haslinda A. Raof has fixed July 13 for further case management.
On Oct 15 last year, Guan Eng 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 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 2, 900 “Likes”, commented by 416 Facebook users and shared by 315 people on the same day.
The plaintiffs said in their statement of claim that the second plaintiff (Way Chau) was not even at the Changi Airport on the date and time stated in the defamatory statement.
The plaintiffs contended that at all material times, the defendant, who is an Umno Youth exco member, is known as Papagomo and the owner of the Facebook account “Papa Azri”.
They claimed that the defamatory statement had tarnished their reputation, humiliated them and embarrassed them in the eyes of the public.
The plaintiffs 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.