Court had ordered Jamal to pay Kok RM300k for defamation.
Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Yunos will be appealing the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision in Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s defamation suit against him, claiming that his newly-appointed lawyer has said that the trial “did not comply with established procedures”.
In a statement, Jamal said judicial commissioner Arief Emran Arifin had rejected his request to review the main document of the case, a Selangor state treasury document which was said to have been classified as “restricted” under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972.
“Because of this, I have appointed a new lawyer to appeal this decision at the Court of Appeal as I believe that the judge’s decision to reject my application to review the validity of the document is wrong,” he said.
Jamal said that before the trial, Kok submitted a “last-minute” letter of objection against the documents that had been filed by his lawyer over 18 months ago.
Kok argued that the document was classified as “restricted” under the OSA and lodged a police report on May 7 after Jamal presented the documents in court for the trial.
He was then investigated by the police for possession of “leaked documents” classified under the OSA.
Kok, a former federal minister, filed the defamation suit against Jamal in 2017 after the Umno man allegedly defamed her by accusing her of misappropriating funds from Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas), a programme under the state government’s Skim Mesra Usia Emas initiative.
The High Court ordered Jamal to pay Kok RM300,000 in general, aggravated, and exemplary damages after Arief ruled that he failed to prove his defence. Arief also ordered Jamal, who was absent in court today, to pay RM50,000 in costs to Kok.
In June, Jamal fired his lawyer and said he wished to represent himself, though he later tried to ask for the trial to be postponed so that he could appoint a new lawyer.
However, Arief dismissed Jamal’s request, pointing out that the trial had been dragging on since 2017. – FMT