Umno Youth exco member Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris has denied being the controversial blogger behind the name Papagomo.
Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and his son are seeking answers from Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris on whether he is actually the controversial blogger known under the moniker “Papagomo” and had published a defamatory statement against the father-son duo.
Lim and his son Clint Lim Way Chau filed the interrogatories on May 20 via law firm Simon Murali & Co pursuant to Wan Muhammad Azri’s denial that he was the blogger known as Papagomo.
The duo are suing Wan Muhammad Azri for alleging that Lim’s son had taken RM2 million in undeclared cash into Singapore.
The interrogatories comprised eight sets of questions to elicit straight answers and the truth from the 38-year-old man.
In a civil action, an interrogatory is a list of questions one party sends to another as part of the discovery process.
Counsel Simon Murali who represented the two plaintiffs when contacted said the High Court had instructed the Wan Muhammad Azri to reply to the questions through an affidavit within 14 days after the expiry of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“Wan Muhammad Azri is actually denying that he is known as Papagomo.
“So, the interrogatories are to make sure that he gives straight answers instead of taking conflicting stands. This would facilitate a speedy trial because the court can focus on the important issues only,” he said.
He said deputy registrar Haslinda A Raof had fixed July 13 for further case management.
On Oct 15 last year, Lim and his son had filed a suit claiming that the defendant had posted on his Facebook page a purported defamatory statement alleging that the second plaintiff (Clint) was hauled up at the Singapore Changi Airport on Feb 29, 2020, for bringing in RM2 million cash without proper declaration.
They claimed that the statement, which was posted on March 14, 2020, had been read by the public and received about 2,900 “Likes”, commented by 416 Facebook users and shared by 315 people on the same day.
They contended that at all material time, the defendant, an Umno Youth executive council member is also known as Papagomo and the owner of Facebook account ‘Papa Azri’.
The plaintiffs claimed that the defendant’s statement was a lie and a twist of facts because the second plaintiff was not even at the Changi Airport on the date and time stated in the statement.
They claimed that the defendant had also alleged that the first plaintiff (Lim) flew to Singapore on the same day to settle the matter using his influence so that his son would not be detained.
The plaintiffs claimed that the former Penang chief minister did not even fly to Singapore that day as he needed to be in Malaysia at that time due to the political crisis when then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stepped down from the post.
They also contended that the incident stated in the defendant’s statement did not take place.
The defamatory statement, they claimed, had tarnished their reputation, humiliated them and embarrassed them in the eyes of the public as well as exposing them to public scandal, hatred and being insulted and ridiculed.
The father and son are seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.
In his statement of defence, Wan Muhammad Azri has denied he was the blogger known as Papagomo.
He also denied having posted or published any statements defamatory to the plaintiffs on his Facebook page.
However, this is not the first time Wan Muhammad Azri has denied he was the infamous blogger as two previous High Court rulings showed otherwise.
The High Court previously ruled Wan Muhammad Azri as pro-Umno blogger Papagomo in 2014, after he was accused of producing explicit images and derogatory statements about Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim being intimate with another man in a blog he ran.
It ruled in favour of Anwar and ordered Wan Muhammad Azri to pay the former RM800,000 in damages and RM50,000 in cost for linking the Opposition Leader to a man in a sex video several months prior.
Despite his denial, Wan Muhammad Azri was also previously ordered by the High Court in 2013 to pay a businessman RM500,000 in damages over a defamation suit.
On September 13, 2013 Wan Muhammad was identified by then Judicial Commissioner Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera as Papagomo and ordered to pay RM200,000 in general damages and RM300,000 in exemplary damages to businessman Abdul Razak Mohd Noor in the latter’s defamation suit against the blogger.