Court To Decide Feb 10 On Lawyer’s Bid For Judgment Against Raja Petra

(Bernama) — The High Court here will decide on Feb 10 the application by lawyer Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s application to enter a judgment against Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin in his defamation suit against the blogger.

Judge Datuk John Louis O’hara set the date after hearing submissions from Raja Petra’s counsel S.Ravindran, and Jadadish Chandra for Raja Petra.

Muhammad Shafee made the application under Order 14A of the Rules of the High Court 1980 for the disposal of the suit based on a point of law without going for a full trial, claiming that the words in the three articles posted on the Malaysia-Today website were defamatory.

In August 2008, Muhammad Shafee filed the suit against Raja Petra, 58, for posting three articles on Aug 6, 7 and 11, 2008, titled “Shafee Abdullah: Sodomologist Extraordinaire”, “Money, Power and Sex: What Motivates Man” and “The Real Dalang Behind The Anwar Sodomy Allegation” on the website which he said had defamed him.

On Aug 13, 2008, he obtained an ex-parte injunction from the High Court ordering Raja Petra to remove the articles as well as all comments on the articles from the website.

In a statement of defence filed on Nov 25, 2008, Raja Petra denied that the three articles were false, malicious or defamatory of the lawyer.

At the outset, Ravindran submitted that Raja Petra in his statement of defence had admitted that the three articles had been published in the website, but denied the statements were defamatory.

He said Raja Petra had also not denied that he was the author of the articles.

Ravindran said if Raja Petra was not the author of the articles, why had he not affirmed any affidavit to deny it.

“He admitted that the articles were published in the website, but he did not come out with any affidavit,” Ravindran said.

While Chandra argued that Raja Petra had admitted the three articles were posted in the Malaysian-Today website, he said Raja Petra was not the publisher of the said articles.

Chandra said, the plaintiff in the case (Muhammad Shafee) had to prove that the articles were published by the Malaysian-Today, as there was a different website address at the bottom of the copy of the articles attached in Muhammad Shafee’s statement of claim.

Objecting to Muhammad Shafee’s application to enter judgment, Chandra said the suit should be decided by way of a full trial and that an expert witness could be called to give opinion on the publication of the articles.