UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is taking former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the courts for defamation. The writ of summons was filed on 20 April through Messrs Shahrul Hamidi & Haziq.
According to The Star, Zahid’s statement of claim said that Dr Mahathir had defamed him by alleging that the Bagan Datuk MP had met with him to seek help with court cases.
This came after Dr Mahathir, who is the Pejuang chairman, allegedly made the defamatory statement at a party event at Yayasan Perdana in Putrajaya on 23 February. A video recording was posted on several news portals.
Dr Mahathir allegedly claimed that Ahmad Zahid had come to his home with two or three others just after the 14th General Election, before the nonagenarian became prime minister for the second time.
“The plaintiff pleads that the defendant had uttered the defamatory statements with malice and placed the plaintiff in a public scandal, therefore inciting hate from the public against the plaintiff,” the document said.
Zahid also claimed that the malicious statements were untrue, unwarranted, unsubstantiated and mischievous.
He added that the alleged statements meant that he was resorting to shortcuts to resolve his criminal cases for personal interests.
This has then painted him as a dishonest and untruthful person and that he did not respect the authorities or the justice system.
“The plaintiff has never met with the defendant in relation to any court cases against the plaintiff or any investigations by government agencies against the plaintiff,” it stated.
Zahid is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as an injunction to stop Dr Mahathir or his agents from republishing the alleged defamatory statements.
He also demanded an apology from the defendant, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.
The case is fixed for case management before High Court deputy registrar Nor Afidah Idris on 27 April.