The Federal Court, like the Court of Appeals and High Court, quashes NFCorp and Salleh’s defamation suit against Nurul Izzah, Saifuddin Nasution…

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Salleh and NFCorp lost the case in the High Court, and that decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal, which agreed with the trial judge’s decision that the context of what was said must be taken as a whole.

Court of Appeal rules for Nurul Izzar Anwar against NFC and Salleh

Posted on July 10, 2017 by weehingthong

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Federal Court quashes NFCorp and Salleh’s defamation suit against Nurul Izzah, Saifuddin Nasution

Timothy Achariam/theedgemarkets.com
March 01, 2021 11:08 am +08

PUTRAJAYA (March 1): The Federal Court today dismissed an appeal filed by National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) and its chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail in a defamation suit against PKR lawmakers Nurul Izzah Anwar and Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The apex court also instructed Salleh to pay RM50, 000 to the pair after the three-man bench read out the judgement this morning.

The lawmakers were sued by Salleh over statements made at a press conference and a printed statement outside Parliament relating to the company’s planned purchase of several units of condominiums at KL Eco City using RM71.4 million of government funds as leverage some nine years ago.

In dismissing Salleh’s appeal, the apex court upheld decisions made in the High Court and Court of Appeal that Nurul Izzah’s statements did not attack Salleh or NFCorp, but instead were aimed at the businessman’s wife and former Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament (MP) Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil over the company’s funds being used to purchase properties.

Nurul Izzah’s statements were made after former PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli revealed how NFCorp had been used as leverage to secure loans for the purchase of the condominiums.

According to the judgement by the bench — comprising Federal Court Judges Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Seri Hasnah Mohammed Hashim and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal — Shahrizat did not file a suit against Nurul Izzah for making the statements.

They also surmised that Nurul Izzah and PKR succeeded in relying on the defence of justification.

“It was the revelation by Rafizi of the misuse of funds that led to Nurul Izzah raising new questions about the conflict of interest of Sharizat in the purchase of the condominiums. No action has since been filed by Sharizat in respect of these allegations, although a suit has been filed against Rafizi for the statements made,” Justice Harmindar said in reading out the judgement.

While reading out the unanimous verdict, Harmindar agreed with Rafizi, who called Salleh’s assertion that the RM71.4 million deposited into a Public Bank fixed deposit account under NFCorp’s name was not used as collateral to obtain the properties worth RM12 million as being untrue.

“It is certainly not a coincidence that the loan facilities came from the same bank where the RM71.4 million was placed.

“It is common knowledge that banks will not simply offer loans unless they are satisfied that the customer seeking loans is in a position to repay them.

“If it is true that banks only require the security of the titles for loans to be provided, then anyone who buys property would ipso facto be granted a bank loan,” he said.

Justice Harmindar said that when the lower courts asked Salleh to reveal his sources of income to finance the purchase of the eight condominiums, he did not do so and only made “bare assertions”.

The judge also added that based on the evidence, it was clear that Salleh used the deposit as leverage to obtain loans from the bank.

“Considering the possible damaging inferences that may arise from the RM71.4 million deposit, Salleh ought to have called someone from Public Bank to support his claims. It was therefore plain in the evidence that the appellants (Salleh) used the deposit as leverage for obtaining loans from the bank,” he said.

The judge also said that based on the entirety of the evidence in the trial, it would not be “far-fetched to deduce that there has been misuse of public funds for personal gain”.

“For these reasons, we would agree with the findings of the Court of Appeal and dismiss the appeal,” he said.

NFCorp and Salleh were represented by senior counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, while lawyers Razlan Hadri Zulkifli and Datuk Joshua Kevin represented Nurul Izzah and Saifuddin.

Salleh and NFCorp lost the case in the High Court, and that decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal, which agreed with the trial judge’s decision that the context of what was said must be taken as a whole.

Besides this case, Salleh and NFCorp have another appeal pending against former Pandan MP Rafizi, also in the Federal Court.Surin Murugiah & Lam Jian Wyn

https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/federal-court-quashes-nfc-and-sallehs-defamation-suit-against-nurul-izzah

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