Judge in Abdul Azeez’s appeal recuses himself, case postponed

PUTRAJAYA: A Court of Appeal judge has recused himself from hearing Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim’s appeal against the Penang High Court’s ruling over the dismissal of his suit against Lim Guan Eng in connection with the construction of the Penang undersea tunnel project.

Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, who chaired a three-member bench, said he decided to recuse himself from hearing the appeal as he had some connection with the parties involved when he was in practice.

“Thus, we adjourned today’s hearing to another date which will be fixed later by the registrar,” said the judge at the start of the proceeding, which was conducted virtually, yesterday.

The other two judges on the bench were Justices Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Mariana Yahya.

Yesterday, the court was scheduled to hear Abdul Azeez’s appeal against the Penang High Court’s decision on Nov 12, 2020.

Counsel Datuk Porres Royan appeared for Abdul Azeez while Lim was represented by lawyer N. Mureli.

Abdul Azeez filed the suit in March 2018, claiming that Lim, who was then the finance minister, had issued some defamatory statements during a press conference at the Penang Chief Minister’s office on Feb 28, 2018, and during a Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Penang Development Corporation on the same day, connecting him (Abdul Azeez) with a payment of RM3mil in consultation fee by the developer of the undersea tunnel project.

Abdul Azeez claimed the statements gained widespread coverage and were published on a number of websites, electronic news sites and local newspapers, and is thus seeking, among others, general and exemplary damages and other relief deemed fit by the court.

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