Waytha Moorthy, Ibrahim Ali will testify in defamation suit

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

FORMER minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy (picture) and Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa (Perkasa) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali will testify at the defamation suit hearing scheduled to commence on Sept 20, next year, in the High Court here.

The defamation suit was filed by Waytha Moorthy pertaining to Ibrahim’s speech in a Perkasa annual general assembly here on Dec 2, 2018.

Counsel K. Kanagavalli, who represented Waytha Moorthy as the plaintiff, told reporters that Judicial Commissioner Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar has set Sept 20 to 23 next year for the trial.

“My client (Waytha Moorthy) will testify in the trial of the suit, but how many other witnesses will testify has yet to decided,” she said after the case management proceedings held in chambers.

Kanagavalli said the hearing of the suit, which had previously been set for three days from June 8, had been postponed after her team made application to amend several statements in the suit and it was allowed by the court.

Counsel Syed Mohamed Afiq Syed Mohamed Noor Azmi, who represented Ibrahim as the defendant, said the defence would produce four witnesses including Ibrahim and Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hasan Syed Ali.

“Both parties need to submit their witness statements before or on Sept 1 next year and the court set Feb 25 for further case management,” he said.

On March 14, last year, Waytha Moorthy filed the suit after alleging Ibrahim, 68, named as the defendant, had made a speech in the assembly, that contained defamatory words about him

In the statement of the claim, the plaintiff claimed on the same day, the defendant’s speech was published in Malay Mail Online titled ‘At Perkasa AGM, enraged Ibrahim Ali calls Waytha Moorthy a pig’ that soon became viral on the social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

Waytha Moorthy claimed that the defendant had uttered slanderous words with an intention to insult, belittle, humiliate, and expose him to public hatred, contempt, and ridicule, with the motive to pressure the government to remove the former from the cabinet.

He further claimed that the defendant’ s statement had defamed him in terms of his credibility and reputation in his personal and official capacity.

He is seeking, among others, an injunction to restrain the defendants either through agents and/or any other persons from further uttering, writing or publishing the same speech, and also costs.