Jamal defamed Maria Chin over terror links, court rules

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PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed Umno Sungai Besar chief Jamal Yunos’ appeal to set aside a lower court ruling that held him liable for defaming Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah.

Judge Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim, in reading the court’s unanimous decision, said the High Court did not err in its ruling that Jamal’s remarks linking Maria to Islamic State in 2016 were defamatory.

“We agree with the High Court’s findings that the statements by the defendant (Jamal) on Sept 28, 2016 and Oct 4, 2016 were defamatory and would lower the plaintiff’s (Maria’s) reputation,” he said.

Maria, who was Bersih 2.0’s former chairman, had filed a suit against Jamal over his allegation of her alleged links with terrorism links and that Bersih 2.0 was plotting to surround two international airports and government buildings.

The other judges who heard the appeal were Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil and Gunalan Muniandy.

The court also allowed Jamal’s appeal to reduce the quantum of damages from RM300,000 to RM150,000.

“The RM300,000 imposed by the High Court is manifestly excessive,” Zaidi said.

The court also awarded RM10,000 as cost to Maria.

Jamal was represented by lawyers Mohamad Fauzi Abdul Samad and V Mugunthan, while Gurdial Singh Nijar, Ngeow Chow Ying appeared for Maria.

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