Mediation between Saifuddin and Zuraida fails, defamation suit to go to trial next year

KUALA LUMPUR: A mediation between PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pic) and former PKR vice-president Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin in a defamation lawsuit filed by the former has failed and the case is set to go on trial next year.

Lawyer Chiew Choon Man, who acted for Saifuddin, said the mediation, which took place via Zoom before Kuala Lumpur High Court mediation division director Wan Fadhilah Nor Wan Idris here on Wednesday (Aug 11), ended with no conclusive settlement.

"Case management is scheduled tomorrow before High Court judge Justice' Rozana Ali Yusoff to update the court on the outcome of the mediation and to prepare for the trial," Chiew said when contacted.

The hearing dates have been fixed for Jan 19, 20, 21, 2022.

It was reported that Saifuddin filed the lawsuit in August, last year, claiming that the Housing and Local Government Minister had defamed him with allegations of corrupt practices involving the Kelantan government and Tabung Amanah Tok Kenali.

He claimed that Zuraida made the alleged defamatory statements at a Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 dinner at a hotel here on Dec 8, 2019.

In his court document, Saifuddin said the impugned words must be read in light of the then power struggle between PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

"Zuraida was known as a vociferous supporter of Azmin while I am Anwar’s supporter,” Saifuddin said in the suit.

Saifuddin claimed that Zuraida’s statement was uploaded to a Facebook page, “Friends of Azmin Ali”, and was subsequently shared on her own Facebook page.

“The (alleged) defamatory words were published by various news outlets and can be viewed by anyone,” he claimed.

Saifuddin is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages from Zuraida, as well as an injunction order to restrain her from making further derogatory statements.

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