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Court rejects Dr M's bid to avoid witness stand
Published on: Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's apparent knowledge of Bersih 3.0 has worked against him in his bid to avoid testifying in the suit filed by Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.

Maria is suing Red Shirts leader Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos for associating Bersih 2.0 with the Islamic State terrorist group.

The knowledge factor was the key ground given by the High Court to dismiss the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman's application to set aside a subpoena obtained by Jamal compelling him to testify in the suit.

High Court judge Justice Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab dismissed the application in chambers in the presence of all parties yesterday.

Jamal obtained the subpoena on Sept 28 last year.

Dr Mahathir's lawyer Ilyani Noor Khuszairy later told reporters that the judge held that her client's knowledge of Bersih 3.0 could assist the court in making its decision.

The judge, she said, held that Dr Mahathir must know about Bersih 3.0 as he had previously given a statement on the rally.

He had apparently commented in 2012 that the future Bersih rally would be more violent, said Ilyani.

She added that the court further noted that Dr Mahathir must also have knowledge about the detention of Maria's husband under the Internal Security Act during Ops Lalang in 1987, as he was the Home Minister at that time.

Ilyani confirmed that there would be no appeal against the ruling and that Dr Mahathir would testify in the defamation trial.

In his application, Dr Mahathir alleged that Jamal had abused the court process and had malicious intent against him.

In her suit, Maria claimed that Jamal had, on Sept 28, 2016, falsely uttered slanderous words against Bersih during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre.

She also claimed that on Oct 4, 2016, Jamal had uttered similar slanderous words against Bersih during a media conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters compound.

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