Anti-graft activist claims info in articles on Azam Baki is from confirmed sources

  • Nation
  • Friday, 04 Feb 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Anti-graft activist Lalitha Kunaratnam on Friday (Feb 4) claimed that the information shared in her articles and tweets concerning the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki were extracted from confirmed sources.

She made the claim in her statement of defence as the defendant in the defamation lawsuit filed by Azam against her.

The statement of defence was filed through Messrs Ibrahim & Fuaadah on Thursday (Feb 3) and was made available to the press on Friday.

"The defendant has reported the articles based on what she had extracted from confirmed sources and summed the information accurately, fairly and in a neutral way.

"The defendant pleads that it is essential in the public interest for the public (of which its readers are comprised) to receive frank and uninhibited communication of particular information,” the statement said.

On Jan 12, Azam, 59, filed a lawsuit against Lalitha for allegedly publishing defamatory articles against him in the Independent News Service (INS) news agency portal related to the allegations of him purchasing stock markets shares in 2015.

Azam’s statement of claim stated that the defendant had written two articles titled ‘Business Ties Among MACC Leadership: How Deep Does It Go? (Part 1)’ and ‘Business Ties Among MACC Leadership: How Deep Does It Go? (Part Two)’ that she published in INS on Oct 26 and republished on Dec 15 last year.

He claimed that the defendant had shared links to the articles on her Twitter account @LalithaVelvet that were still accessible to this day.

Azam claimed that the articles were sensational, scandalous and offensive and were written and republished with malicious intent to give a bad perception to the readers that the plaintiff was a corrupt civil servant or one who has abused his position as a senior MACC official for his or his sibling’s interests.

He claimed that the defamatory publication had tarnished his name and reputation and therefore, he sought an order to prevent Lalitha or her agents from making, publishing or causing the defamatory statement to be republished besides requesting the defendant to delete the articles and tweets within three days of judgment and to issue an apology to be published in newspapers and social media platforms of his choice.

He is also seeking RM10mil in general damages, aggravated damages, interests, costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.- Bernama

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