Selasa, 26 Ogos 2014

Minister Ahmad Zahid apologises to Tony Pua

 Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today retracted in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur a defamatory statement he made in 2011, in which he implied Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua to be a criminal.

Zahid read out an open statement in court and Pua agreed to withdraw his suit against the minister and Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, which published Zahid’s statement.

"I, Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi, do hereby unconditionally retract the statements that I had made to the second defendant (Utusan Malaysia) in respect of the plaintiff. I regret in disparaging the reputation of the plaintiff," Zahid said.

Utusan Malaysia legal adviser Shirat Anuar also read out a statement, saying that in view of Zahid's retraction, the second and third defendants do hereby unconditionally retract the said article.

Pua (right) filed the suit in January this year, naming Zahid, who was defence minister in 2011, andUtusan Malaysia.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP filed the suit after Zahid refused to retract and apologise for his statement insinuating that Pua was once charged in a Singapore court. Utusan published the article on March 18, 2011.

Pua had in 2011 said he had no choice but to file the suit after the deadline given for Zahid to retract elapsed.

Pua named Zahid, Utusan Melayu Publications (M) Bhd, the publisher of Utusan Malaysia and its group editor-in-chief Abdul Aziz Ishak as defendants.

He said Utusan had published a libellous article against him in the newspaper and continuously posted it online.

Pua said the defamatory words meant that he had been arrested by the Singapore police for a criminal offence and was not fit to be a federal lawmaker and was not loyal to Malaysia.

Zahid shook Pua's hand in court to denote the settlement.

Lawyer Benjamin Aliff appeared for Pua, while V Prem acted for Zahid. Utusan Malaysia was represented by Choo Shi Jin.

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