PUTRAJAYA, Nov 19 — Kubu Gajah (Perak) state assemblyman Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar obtained leave from the Federal Court here today to appeal against a court’s decision that held him liable for defamation.
His application for leave to appeal was allowed by a five-member panel led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.
The Federal Court will hear Raja Ahmad Zainuddin’s appeal on another date yet to be fixed and will also determine a legal question.
The legal question is whether an adviser to the editorial board is liable and responsible for defamation, in absence of evidence that the adviser had any control over or input in the alleged defamatory publication.
The other judges presiding on the panel were Federal Court judges Datuk Ahmad Maarop, Datuk Hasan Lah, Datuk Sulong Matjeraie and Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
Raja Ahmad Zainuddin sought leave to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal that had upheld a Kota Baru High Court’s decision that Raja Ahmad was liable for the publication of a defamatory article published by Mingguan Watan in its December 2008 edition entitled “Siasat Pemimpin-Pemimpin PAS Kelantan Seleweng Ekuiti PKINK” (Perbadanan Kemajuan Iktisad Negeri Kelantan).
The High Court had on October 30 last year allowed PKINK’s claim and held Raja Ahmad Zainuddin liable.
Raja Ahmad Zainuddin was sued by PKINK in his capacity as advisor to the editorial department of Mingguan Watan.
The High Court has ordered that the damages be assessed by the deputy registrar.
In its civil suit, PKINK also named M. Goenawan Mohamed, Wan Bahador Wan Ismail @ Baha Azuwan, Naluri Teratai Sdn Bhd, Mingguan Watan and Tristan Media Distributors as defendants.
Raja Ahmad Zainuddin was represented by lawyers Datuk Hafarizam Harun, Abu Bakar Isa Ramat and Mohd Hasnal Abdul Aziz while PKINK was represented by a team of lawyers led by Mohamed Hanipa Maidin. — Bernama