Apex court sets May 14 to hear Apandi Ali's bid for leave to appeal dismissal of defamation lawsuit

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has set May 14 to hear former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali’s application to obtain leave to pursue his appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to dismiss his RM10mil defamation lawsuit against DAP veteran Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang.

His lawyer, M. Visvanathan, confirmed the hearing date when contacted by Bernama Monday (April 8).

Apandi filed the application on Dec 1 last year, after losing his appeal at the Court of Appeal on Nov 2, 2023.

He wants the Federal Court to determine five legal questions.

Apandi’s suit against the DAP veteran, over an article on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (IMDB) scandal, was dismissed by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on May 23, 2022.

In his suit, filed in 2019, Mohamed Apandi claimed that, on May 6, 2019, Lim had written and caused to be published an article titled "Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia’s on the road to integrity”, in Malaysiakini.

ALSO READ: Apandi Ali fails in bid to set aside High Court dismissal of defamation suit

He said that the alleged libellous words in the article implied that he was involved in crime and had abetted in the 1MDB financial scandal, was a person with no morals and integrity, was unethical, and had abused his power when he was the AG.

Apandi, who was the AG from July 27, 2015, to June 4, 2018, contended that the libellous words were untrue, and written to tarnish his image and credibility as a former Malaysian AG, for cheap publicity.

He sought aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as RM10mil in general damages, an injunction to prevent Lim and/or his agents from publishing the alleged defamatory words again, and other relief deemed fit by the court.

High Court Judge Azimah Omar (now a Court of Appeal judge), in dismissing Apandi’s suit, ruled that Lim succeeded in justifying his qualified privileges when making those statements, as the 1MDB scandal involved criminality, illegalities and social and economic repercussions to the nation’s economy, as well as the morality of the nation’s top leaders and agencies. - Bernama

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