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MACC Chief drops RM10m defamation suit against whistleblower 
Published on: Saturday, June 22, 2024
By: Bernama
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MACC Chief drops RM10m defamation suit against whistleblower 
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki has dropped the RM10 million defamation suit that he filed against whistleblower and Centre for Combating Cronyism and Corruption (C4) senior researcher K. Lalitha. - pix Bernama
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki has dropped the RM10 million defamation suit that he filed against whistleblower and Centre for Combating Cronyism and Corruption (C4) senior researcher K. Lalitha.

Azam, 60, filed the suit against Lalitha, 51, in January 2022 over her two series of articles titled ‘Business Ties Among MACC Leadership: How Deep Does It Go? published in the Independent News Service (INS) portal.

The Notice of Discontinuance dated June 11, obtained by the media today, stated that Azam has discontinued the suit filed at the High Court on Jan 12, 2022, against the defendant on the basis of no prejudice, without admission from either party, without order regarding costs, and without liberty to file afresh.

The notice was filed through Messrs Zain, Megat & Murad representing Azam and was signed together with Lalitha’s lawyers from Messrs Khairuddin, Ngiam & Tan.

Azam’s statement of claim stated that the defendant had written two articles titled ‘Business Ties Among MACC Leadership: How Deep Does It Go? (Part 1)’ and ‘Business Ties Among MACC Leadership: How Deep Does It Go? (Part Two)’ that she published in INS on Oct 26, 2021, and republished on Dec 15 of the same year.

He also claimed that the defendant had shared links to the articles on her Twitter account @LalithaVelvet that were still accessible (at the time the suit was filed).

Azam claimed that the articles were sensational, scandalous and offensive and were written and republished with malicious intent to give a bad perception to the readers that the plaintiff was a corrupt civil servant or one who had abused his position as a senior MACC official for his or his sibling’s interests.

Azam claimed that the defamatory publication had tarnished his name and reputation and therefore, he sought an order to prevent Lalitha or her agents from making, publishing or causing the defamatory statement to be republished besides requesting the defendant to delete the articles and tweets within three days of judgment and to issue an apology to be published in newspapers and social media platforms of his choice.

He seeks RM10 million in general damages, aggravated damages, interests, costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

Meanwhile, Lalitha through her statement of defence filed on Feb 3, 2022, claimed that the contents of the articles and her tweets involving Azam were obtained from legitimate sources. 

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