Former attorney-general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has filed an appeal against the High Court’s recent dismissal of his defamation lawsuit against DAP MP Lim Kit Siang over a 2019 article alleging his abetment in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
When contacted, Apandi’s lawyer M Visvanathan confirmed that the appeal papers filed to the Court of Appeal have also been served on Lim’s lawyers.
“We have filed the appeal. It was filed on the 24.5.2022. Duly served on the solicitors for the defendant,” he told Malay Mail.
Separately, Lim’s lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo also confirmed to Malay Mail that Apandi has filed an appeal against the High Court’s May 23 decision.
On May 23, High Court judge Datuk Azimah Omar ruled that Lim was not liable for defamation, ruling that the Iskandar Puteri MP was justified in raising the 1MDB scandal and that he had succeeded in proving his defence of fair comment and qualified privilege.
Among others, the judge had highlighted that complaints about the 1MDB scandal had fallen on deaf ears until Apandi was removed from his position in 2018, and that no one was prosecuted for the 1MDB scandal during Apandi’s tenure as attorney-general.
The judge also said Lim was justified in questioning Mohamed Apandi’s attitude on 1MDB and subsequent exoneration in a January 26, 2016 press conference of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of any criminal wrongdoings, and that it was also him who had marked the case as “No Further Action” against the recommendations of investigators of a task force then.
On July 5, 2019, Apandi had filed the defamation lawsuit against Lim, claiming that the latter had on May 6, 2019 written the article titled “Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia’s on the road to integrity” and caused it to be published on the news portal Malaysiakini.
Mohamed Apandi, who was the AG from July 27, 2015 to June 4, 2018, claimed that the alleged defamatory words in the article implied that he was involved in crime and had abetted in the 1MDB scandal, was a person with no morals and integrity, was unethical and had abused his power when he was the AG.
Claiming that the alleged defamatory words were untrue and intended to tarnish his image as a former AG for cheap publicity, Apandi had sought compensation including RM10 million in general damages and an injunction to prevent Lim from publishing the alleged defamatory words again. – MMO