TV3 ordered to pay S$371k to Anwar for defamation

File photo showing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim listening to questions during a press conference at his office in Petaling Jaya.
File photo showing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim listening to questions during a press conference at his office in Petaling Jaya. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - The High Court has ordered TV3 to pay RM1.1m (S$371,000) to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for linking him as one of the masterminds of the Lahad Datu intrusion that happened in Sabah five years ago.

Justice Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim made the ruling after allowing Mr Anwar's suit against TV3 for disparaging him in its Buletin Utama based on an article published by Utusan Melayu with the headline Tiga Kumpulan Menjadi Dalang, dated March 2, 2013.

 

The court ordered TV3 to pay general damages of RM600,000, aggravated damages of RM250,000, exemplary damages of RM250,000 and costs of RM40,000.

The judge held that TV3 as the second defendant failed to practise responsible journalism in not getting a confirmation from Mr Anwar before relaying the news.

"According to the defendant's witness, they reported the news based on an article from Utusan Malaysia, but the newspaper has admitted that the article was false and defamatory to the plaintiff.

"However, TV3 was adamant and did not make any settlement with the plaintiff," he said.

After considering the circumstances of the case, the judge found that the news report did implicate the plaintiff and said the RM600,000 general damages was reasonable.

 
 
 

On March 8, 2013, Anwar sued Utusan Melayu; Utusan group editor-in-chief Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak; TV3; Media Prima Bhd News and Current Affairs, Radio and Television Network group managing editor Datuk Shaharudin Abd Latif; and Buletin Utama news editor Ing Boon Seng.

Mr Anwar, in his statement of claim, referred to an article published by Utusan Melayu in its front page headlined Ketua Pembangkang Dikaitkan Dengan Pencerobohan? and another in page nine, Tiga Kumpulan Menjadi Dalang.

On Oct 5, 2016, he reached an agreement with Utusan Melayu and Abdul Aziz to settle the case.

Mr Anwar was represented by counsel Datuk S. Ambiga while TV3's lawyer was Mr Lim Qi Si.