Blogger facing defamation suit again denies he is Papagomo

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Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris has again filed in court his denial of being blogger Papagomo.

The suspended Umno Youth executive council member reiterated this in an affidavit responding to a set of questions in interrogatories put forward by former finance minister Lim Guan Eng and his son Clint Lim Way Chau.

The two Lims filed a defamation suit against Azri on Oct 15, 2020, at the High Court in Penang, over an allegation that Clint took RM2 million in undeclared cash into Singapore.

The lawsuit centred on an alleged Facebook post dated March 14 earlier that year.

The civil action has since been transferred to the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

In June last year, it was reported that Azri, in his statement of defence, denied being Papagomo.

In a filed reply to the statement of defence, Guan Eng, who is also former Penang chief minister, and his son labelled Azri’s rejection of being Papagomo as ‘mere bare denial’.

On Feb 15 this year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered the defendant to respond to the two plaintiffs’ interrogatories.

Under Malaysian law for civil action, interrogatories are a formal set of written questions required to be answered by the defendant to help clarify matters of fact and determine in advance the facts to be presented in a trial.

Azri’s latest denial of being Papagomo is contained in his affidavit filed on March 8 this year.

In the latest court filing, the Umno member also denied having uploaded to Facebook the alleged defamatory posting on March 14, 2020.

Interrogatory 1, which is whether it is true that you are also known by the ‘nama timangan (moniker) and/or ‘gelaran’ (title) Papagomo?

Answer: No.

Interrogatory 2, which is whether it is true that in the year 2020, specifically on March 14, 2020, that you owned a Facebook account under the name ‘Papa Azri’, whereby the name and/or reference to the owner of the account, as can be seen on the Facebook page, is ‘Papa Azri’?

Answer: No.

When contacted by Malaysiakini this afternoon, lawyer to the two Lims Simon Murali confirmed that Azri’s affidavit has been served on his clients.

The counsel said the High Court has set five days for a full hearing of the legal action beginning Aug 12, 2024.

Murali added that the court has also set Dec 13 this year for further case management of the civil suit.

The lawyer was speaking after attending court case management of the matter earlier today.

Azri was represented by counsel from law firm Fazilah Logen & Associates.

Through the defamation suit, Guan Eng and Clint are seeking general, aggravated, and exemplary damages; interest on awarded damages; costs, and any other order deemed fit, appropriate, and reasonable by the court. – Malaysiakini