Kalimullah vs Chang: Court to hear Khairy, three others to set aside Subpoenas

(Bernama) – Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and three others are applying to set aside subpoenas for them to testify in a suit brought by Datuk Seri Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan against lawyer Matthias Chang Wen Chieh.

High Court judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad set Dec 2 to hear the application filed by Khairy, who is also Umno Youth chief, former second finance minister

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, former director of South Peninsular Industries Bhd Tan Sri Azman Hashim and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’s founder Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing.

The judge fixed the date after meeting all the parties today.

They were subpoenaed to testify as Chang’s witnesses in the ongoing trial of the suit brought by Kalimullah, a former New Straits Times Press Bhd (NSTP) deputy chairman.

The trial which began last Thursday, will continue this Friday.

Asked to comment on the matter, Chang’s counsel Vinod R. Kamalanathan told reporters that Chang, as the defendant in the suit, wanted to call the four to prove his defence of qualified privilege, fair comment and justification.

Counsel Datuk Rajan Navaratnam, acting for Lim, said his client applied to set aside the subpoena on the basis that he (Lim) was not involved in the suit.

On June 29, 2006, Kalimullah filed a defamation suit after Chang had allegedly made statements against him on June 13, the same year, at a press conference, a report of which was published in the Singapore Straits Times through its Malaysian correspondent, Leslie Lau.

He is asking for RM50 million in damages, costs, interests and an injunction to restrain Chang from publishing similar words.

He said the words in the article meant that he was dishonest and had no credibility, was unreliable, tainted, rotten, faint-hearted, manipulative, and a betrayer of Malaysians.

Kalimullah, who testified in court last Thursday, had told the court that he filed the suit against Chang for making damaging and baseless statements against him.

Chang, previously a political secretary to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had also filed a counter-claim against Kalimullah on July 14, 2006, among others, seeking RM150 million in damages.