KUALA LUMPUR (March 6): The High Court has set a three-day trial beginning Jan 29 next year to hear former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s defamation suit against Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam.
Ismail Sabri's counsel Joshua Tan Jo-ven confirmed the matter when contacted by The Edge.
He said the trial is slated for Jan 29 till Jan 31 and added that the trial dates were fixed during a previous case management.
Ismail Sabri, who is also Bera Member of Parliament, filed the suit against Lokman in September 2021 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 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).
Lokman filed a counterclaim where he said that he had deleted the video that allegedly defamed Ismail Sabri on his social media accounts as ordered by the court, but 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 January this year, the High Court granted Ismail Sabri an inter-partes (between parties) injunction until the disposal of the suit. On Sept 12 last year, he also obtained an ex-parte injunction (one-sided order) to take down the video.
It was reported previously that Ismail Sabri may settle the suit with Lokman. However, when approached by the media, counsels for both parties said they could not comment further.
Lokman was sacked from Umno in February 2020, and it was reported that he was reinstated as the party's Supreme Council member last month.