Ismail obtains injunction against Lokman in defamation action

The High Court has granted former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob an interim injunction in a defamation suit brought against former Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam.

Ismail’s lawyer Joshua Tan said Justice Ahmad Shahrir Salleh made the order with the consent of both parties.

“The injunction (which requires Lokman to remove a video from his social media accounts) will remain in force pending the outcome of a trial before Ahmad,” Tan said.

Counsel Faiz Abdul Rahim represented Lokman.

Meanwhile, the suit is scheduled for case management before the judge on March 6.

On Sept 26, the High Court granted Ismail an ex-parte ad interim injunction compelling Lokman to remove the video from his social media accounts.

An ad interim injunction is a temporary injunction granted by the court pending the disposal of an inter partes hearing.

Ismail was appointed prime minister on Aug 20, 2021 and held the post until Nov 24 last year.

He filed the suit against Lokman on Sept 8 last year over a video titled “Bila Presiden Umno panggil Tak Datang! Tapi PM Ada Masa Jumpa Mahathir – Lokman Adam”.

In his statement of claim, Ismail said Lokman had uploaded the video on his TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook accounts on Aug 22 last year. He said the video contained statements that were defamatory, untrue and malicious.

Lokman had claimed that Ismail met former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several leaders of political parties opposed to Umno to enable him to remain the prime minister, sidelining the interests of his own party, Umno.

He had also alleged that Ismail had interfered to ensure that former prime minister Najib Razak was convicted and jailed.

In his defence against Ismail’s suit, Lokman claimed the video was not defamatory and that it was not done with malicious intent.

He is also relying on the defences of justification, qualified privilege and fair comment.

Lokman has since filed a counterclaim against Ismail on grounds that he had allegedly suffered financial loss as a result of taking down the video from his social media accounts.