Nallakaruppan and Utusan retain most of their defence in Anwar’s defamation suit

(The Star) – Malaysian United Indian Party president Senator Datuk S. Nallakaruppan and two others were allowed to retain most of their statements of defence in a RM100mil suit filed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against them.

Nallakaruppan, Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd and its Editor-in-Chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak had pleaded the defence of justification, qualified privilege and fair comment which were part of the opinion in the majority judgment of Anwar’s 1998 sodomy case in the Federal Court.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera Wednesday granted only a part of Anwar’s application to strike out a portion of the defence statements by Nallakarupan, Utusan Melayu and Abdul Aziz.

The only part, which was allowed to be struck out by the Judicial Commissioner, was the plea of justification.

However, Vazeer allowed the defences of qualified privilege, fair comment and mitigation of damages to be retained.

On March 26, the Opposition leader had filed the suit alleging Nallakaruppan had uttered defamatory words against him which were then published on the front page of the Utusan Malaysia daily on March 20.

In his statement of claim, Anwar said the defamatory words included in the article were false, baseless, was published with ill intention and had tarnished his good name.

Anwar is seeking RM100mil in general, aggravated and exemplary damages, cost and other relief deemed fit by the court.

The High Court has set January 18, 2013 for case management.