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KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — The High Court today set Dec 20 to 22, 2021 and March 14 to 17, 2022 to hear two defamation suits filed by Dr Zakir Naik against Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy.
Two suits filed separately in October and December 2019, on the allegation that Ramasamy issued defamatory statements involving the independent preacher, besides linking Dr Zakir to the LTTE issue.
Lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who represented Dr Zakir as the plaintiff, said that Judge Datuk Mohd Firuz Jaffril set Dec 20 to 22, 2021 and March 14 to 17, 2022 as trial dates.
“The trial dates previously set by the court, March 22 to 26, have been vacated due to the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order at that time,” he told reporters after case management before Judge Mohd Firuz.
Akberdin said that his team would call five witnesses, including Dr Zakir, to testify, while the defendant presented six witnesses.
He also said that the court set Nov 22 for further case management for the parties involved.
On Oct 16, 2019, Dr Zakir sued Ramasamy for allegedly issuing defamatory statements, which were uploaded on social media sites and news portals between 2016 and 2019.
In the statement of claim, the plaintiff claimed that on April 10, 2016, Ramasamy had defamed him by calling him (Dr Zakir) by an unsavoury name on the defendant's Facebook page, and the defendant also issued a defamatory statement against the plaintiff on Oct 1, 2017, when an article about the preacher was published on the Free Malaysia Today (FMT) news portal on that day.
Dr Zakir also claimed that, on Aug 11, 2019, the defendant had manipulated his speech during an event organised by the Kelantan government, and it was also published on the FMT portal on the same day.
Ramasamy, on Aug 20, 2019, was alleged to have issued a defamatory statement against the plaintiff, published by the international media, India Today.
In December 2019, Dr Zakir again sued Ramasamy after alleging that the defendant defamed him, through comments posted on The Malaysian Insight portal on the LTTE issue. — Bernama