Five-year legal dispute between Anwar and Nallakaruppan ends via mediation

KHAIRAH N. KARIM

KUALA LUMPUR: A five-year legal dispute between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and senator Tan Sri S. Nallakaruppan over derogatory remarks carried on Utusan Malaysia's front page in 2012 has finally been resolved via mediation.

The settlement was reached amicably after Anwar considered Nallakaruppan's explanation on the allegations made against him for sexual misconduct.

Upon satisfaction over the explanation, Anwar withdrew the defamation suit he filed against his former tennis partner.

Counsels from both sides tendered a statement of settlement today before High Court judicial commissioner Datuk Roslan Abu Bakar in chambers.

Consent judgment was also recorded and the terms of settlement will be published in the Malay daily within seven days from today.

Counsel Sarah Abishegam represented Nallakaruppan while Wan Azmir Wan Majid represented Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and the newspaper's then group editor Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak. Latheefa Koya acted for Anwar, who was present in court.

On March 26, 2012, the former opposition leader filed a RM100 million defamation suit, naming the three (Nallakaruppan, Utusan Melayu and Abdul Aziz) as defendants.

In his originating summons, the former opposition leader claimed that the libelous words contained in the newspaper article were false and baseless and published with malicious intent.

He said the allegations were deliberately created to discredit him and tarnish his reputation as the opposition leader and as a politician.

Anwar had sought RM100 million in general damages, as well as aggravated damages, exemplary damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.