KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 5): The High Court here on Thursday (Jan 5) has granted former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s application for an inter-partes (between parties) injunction against former Umno Supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam following a defamation suit filed by Ismail Sabri.
Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh granted the order after both Ismail Sabri's and Lokman's lawyers agreed to the injunction until the disposal of the defamation suit. Ismail Sabri was represented by Joshua Tan Jo-ven, while Mohd Faiz Abd Rahim appeared for Lokman.
“The court grants order in terms. The court has fixed March 6 for case management of this case. Any interlocutory applications have to be filed before the case management date,” Ahmad Shahrir said.
Ismail Sabri, 62, who is also Bera Member of Parliament, filed the suit against Lokman on Sept 8 last year, through Messrs Kesavan, and on Sept 12, he also obtained an ex-parte injunction (one-sided order) to take down the video.
This is over a video Lokman posted titled Bila Presiden Umno panggil tak datang! Tapi PM ada masa jumpa Mahathir (When the Umno president called [to meet] him, he did not come! However, he had time to see Mahathir).
In his statement of claim, Ismail Sabri, an Umno vice president, alleged that the statement made by Lokman — that he conspired with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to “fix” former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak — was not only false, but also defamatory and mala fide (made in bad faith).
He said the statement made in the video was false, as he never met Mahathir on Aug 22, or any days surrounding it.
Ismail Sabri also complained that the words uttered by Lokman also meant that he was insincere, cunning, and only had his self-interests in mind to maintain his post as the PM, and that he was insincere to Umno.
The words, Ismail Sabri also claimed, meant that he was a traitor for allegedly conspiring with Mahathir and other political parties that were against Umno, so that he remained as PM.
He also claimed that the allegation that he had offered Mahathir’s son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, the deputy prime ministership in return for getting Mahathir's support was also defamatory.
Ismail Sabri said the words alleged by Lokman also meant that he was cruel, tyrannical and evil.
Lokman, 59, filed a counterclaim earlier this month, where he claimed that he had deleted the video that allegedly defamed Ismail Sabri on his social media accounts as ordered by the court, but in turn claimed that he had suffered losses in terms of income that could have been obtained from the video, and hence he is seeking general damages, interest and costs.
In the counterclaim and defence, Lokman denied that the video had defamed the former PM, and said that it was not produced with malicious intent.
Previously, it was reported that Ismail Sabri may settle the suit with Lokman. However, when approached by the media on Thursday, Tan and Mohd Faiz said they could not comment further on it.