: International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed has settled his defamation suit brought against PAS, former PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali and two others at the High Court here.
The suit was in relation to a defamatory statement by former PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa against Mustapa, who is Kelantan UMNO Liaison committee chairman on the shares of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGVH).
The suit was settled after the four defendants in the case tendered their apologies which was read by their counsel Sharifah Nur Asmaa' Syed Azman during the proceeding before Judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin.
The four defendants were PAS, Mustafa the then PAS secretary-general, Harakahdaily chief editor Zulkifli Sulong and Harakahdaily online editor, Azmi Yusof.
The court later recorded a consent judgement and ordered the four defendants to collectively pay RM20,000 as cost to Mustapa.
In reading the statement of apology, Sharifah Nur Asmaa' said "The defendants recognised that there was no foundation whatsoever to the impugned words and allegations and regret that they were ever made.
"As a result, the defendants now take this opportunity to unconditionally retract the impugned words and allegations and unreservedly apologise to Mustapa for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by the publication and republication of the impugned words and allegations which are totally untrue and have no basis".
Sharifah Nur Asmaa' said the defendants hereby apologise unreservedly to the plaintiff if any words in the said article had injured the plaintiff's feeling, dignity and reputation.
Meanwhile, Mustapa's suit against Husam as the first defendant in the case would proceed with hearing on January 27 next year.
The proceeding today was also attended by Lew Cho Kang, counsel for Mustapa as well as counsel Mohamad Fitri Khalis Ahmad representing Husam.
On April 22, 2013, Mustapa filed the suit after Husam allegedly uttered the defamatory words against the minister on FGVH shares at a political talk at the expo site in Machang, Kelantan on March 23,
Mustapa, who is Jeli MP claimed on March 24, 2013, PAS and other defendants published the slanderous words via harakahdaily.net which could be accessed by millions of internet users.
The minister alleged the defamatory statements, among others, implied he was a corrupt leader and politician, with no credibility as well as abusing his power in his personal interest and for UMNO leaders.
He is seeking damages for libel, aggravated damages and exemplary damages as well as an injunction against the defendants.