Wan Ahmad wins defamation suit against Mat Sabu, Mustafa Ali

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(Bernama) – The High Court here today ordered PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and party secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali to pay a total of RM200,000 in damages to former Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (pic right) for defamation over the Sabah ‘IC Project’.

Judicial Commissioner Lee Heng Cheong decided that Wan Ahmad as the plaintiff had proven his case against Mohamad or Mat Sabu and Mustafa as the defendants.

The court also ordered the defendants to pay RM50,000 in costs to Wan Ahmad.

However, the court dismissed Wan Ahmad’s claims against Harakah’s printer, Angkatan Edaran Enterprise Sdn Bhd, Harakah chief editor Ahmad Lutfi Othman and writer Aziz Muda.

Lee said the court found that the plaintiff had failed to prove that Angkatan Edaran Enterprise was Harakah’s printer, Ahmad Lutfi was Harakah chief editor and Aziz the author of an article that became the bone of contention.

Wan Ahmad was also ordered to pay RM20,000 in costs to the three defendants.

In his suit filed on March 5, last year, Wan Ahmad contended that Mohamad not only implied that he untrustworthy but also called for his resignation in articles published by Harakah in the Feb 1-3 edition from an interview conducted on Jan 29, 2013.

He said the words had referred to him as the mastermind in the conspiracy in the issuance of blue identity cards in Sabah in the quest to ensure the Barisan Nasional’s victory in the state in the 13th general election.

Meanwhile, Wan Ahmad said he was pleased that the court had ruled in his favour.

“I am thankful and happy that the court’s decision has cleared my name, restored my dignity and lifted that burden of shame from my family and I due to the defamatory statements,” he said, adding that the EC’s image had also been tarnished due to slanders and lies hurled by Mat Sabu and Mustafa.

Wan Ahmad hoped the court’s decision would be a lesson to Mat Sabu and Pas on the need to be more cautious while commenting or issuing statements that could mar other people’s reputation and dignity.

He said issuing defamatory statements and slanders against others also reflected low self-esteem and conduct of the persons concerned.

Wan Ahmad was accompanied by lawyers Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun and Nor Hazira Abu Haiyan.

All the defendants did not attend the proceedings and were represented by counsel Azhana Mohd Khairuddin.