Parties in Nurul Izzah’s defamation suit unable to reach settlement, court told


FORMER Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and former Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar were unable to reach a settlement in a defamation lawsuit filed against them by Nurul Izzah Anwar (picture).

Ismail Sabri’s counsel Ragunath Kesevan told the three-member Court of Appeal bench yesterday that the related parties could not settle and hence, hearing of submissions had to resume.

During the last appeal hearing, the appellate court had asked parties to see if they could settle the matter.

Ismail Sabri and Khalid were appealing against the decision of a High Court to award Nurul Izzah, who is Permatang Pauh MP, a total sum of RM1 million in damages after finding them (Ismail Sabri and Khalid) liable for defaming her.

However, the hearing of the appeal did not proceed yesterday as Justice Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, who chaired the bench, told parties in the appeal to provide the court with case law authorities related to the quantum of damages.

“Give them time, because they are the people who are going to be affected,” Justice Hamid Sultan told counsel Ranjit Singh, who is representing Nurul Izzah.

The other two judges were Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said and Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah. Justice Hamid Sultan then instructed parties to go for case management of the matter at the Court of Appeal registry to set the next hearing date.

Deputy registrar Suriyanilakma Abd Kadir subsequently fixed Sept 18 for hearing.

On April 18 last year, the High Court ordered Ismail Sabri and Khalid to pay RM600,000 and RM400,000 in damages respectively to Nurul Izzah after ruling that the statements made by Ismail Sabri and Khalid in two separate press conferences had, in their natural and ordinary meanings, defamed Nurul Izzah.

Nurul Izzah sued the duo alleging that they had portrayed her as a traitor to the country and the mastermind in the Lahad Datu intrusion in Sabah in 2013.

Senior federal counsel Zureen Elina Mohd Dom represented Khalid.