KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 ― The hearing for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's defamation suit against Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, relating to alleged defamatory statements with regard to the “kutty” issue, originally set for today, has been adjourned to July 19.

Judicial Commissioner Gan Techiong granted the postponement after an application by Dr Mahathir's lawyer, Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi cited that his client has been admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN) since January 26.

IJN had also sent a letter to the court indicating Dr Mahathir, 98, was unable to attend court proceedings today due to his health condition.

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“Our client was given a sick leave certificate by the IJN from January 26 to February 18. We request that today's trial be postponed,” said Mior Nor Haidir, assisted by lawyer Rafique Rashid Ali.

Mohamed Shahrul Fazli Kamarulzaman, who represented Ahmad Zahid, 71, suggested that the trial begin in October, but Gan objected saying it should be earlier due to the advanced age of the plaintiff.

“We can vacate other cases to accommodate this trial. Most probably, Tun Mahathir is one of the oldest plaintiffs in this court,” said Gan.

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After approving the adjournment, the court set new trial dates for July 19, August 26 to 27, and October 29 to 30.

Mior Nor Haidir conveyed to the court that the plaintiff, Dr Mahathir, and his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz, will be presented as witnesses during the trial.

While Mohamed Shahrul Fazli specified that the deputy prime minister and another subpoenaed witness were scheduled to testify at the trial. ― Bernama