Court finds TV3 guilty of defaming Nizar

The Court of Appeal here today ruled that TV3 is liable for defaming former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin over his tweets on the WWW1 vehicle registration number which the Sultan of Johor successfully won in a bid. File pic of Nizar and his wife Fatimah Taat outside the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — AFP pic
The Court of Appeal here today ruled that TV3 is liable for defaming former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin over his tweets on the WWW1 vehicle registration number which the Sultan of Johor successfully won in a bid. File pic of Nizar and his wife Fatimah Taat outside the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — AFP pic

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 25 — The Court of Appeal here today ruled that TV3 is liable for defaming former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin over his tweets on the WWW1 vehicle registration number which the Sultan of Johor successfully won in a bid.

A three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof unanimously allowed Mohammad Nizar’s appeal to set aside the decision of the High Court, which had dismissed his (Mohammad Nizar’s) RM50 million defamation suit against TV3.

Justice Ariff subsequently remitted the case back to the High Court for assessment of damages.

In his ruling, Justice Ariff said TV3 had failed to establish the defence of justification.

He said there was malice in the report by the TV station, adding that TV3 also failed to prove that its report was true or partially true.

“The court is of the view that the High Court’s decision cannot be sustained and is hereby set aside,” said Justice Ariff, who presided on the panel with Justices Datuk David Wong Dak Wah and Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim.

He also ordered TV3 to pay RM30,000 in legal costs to Mohammad Nizar for the court proceedings in the Court of Appeal.

Mohammad Nizar was appealing against the April 12, 2013 decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in dismissing a defamation suit brought by him against TV3  and the producer of Buletin Utama, Rohani Ngah, over his comments on the vehicle registration number, which the Sultan of Johor successfully bid RM520,000 for in May 2012.

In his statement of claim, Mohammad Nizar stated that he had issued a statement through his Twitter account on May 28, 2012, concerning the vehicle number plate. He claimed that on May 30 2012, TV3 carried news on his Twitter statement over its 8pm Bulletin Utama news slot.

Lawyer Liew Teck Huat representing TV3, when met by reporters, said he would study the grounds of judgment before deciding on whether to bring the matter up to the Federal Court.

Mohammad Nizar was represented by lawyer Mohd Fitri Asmuni. — Bernama