09 July 2015

Mat Sabu bebas menfitnah / Kisah surat cinta PM ke WSJ...

Mat Sabu bebas tuduhan memfitnah polis Bukit Kepong...

Mahkamah Sesyen Butterworth hari ini membebaskan bekas timbalan presiden PAS Mohamad Sabu yang dituduh memfitnah polis Bukit Kepong dan keluarga mereka.

Hakim Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi dalam penghakimannya berkata, pihak pendakwaan gagal membuktikan kes terhadap Mohamad, yang lebih dikenali sebagai Mat Sabu.

Keputusan tersebut disambut dengan sorakan Allahuakbar daripada mereka yang hadir di galeri.

Mat Sabu didakwa membuat fitnah menerusi kenyataannya berhubung kejadian Bukit Kepong pada 1950, yang menyaksikan 25 anggota polis dan keluarga mereka dibunuh oleh komunis.

Beliau didakwa berkata, Mat Indera yang mengetuai serangan itu adalah seorang wira negara dalam melawan British. Beliau dikatakan membuat komen itu pada satu ceramah di Tasek Gelugor pada 21 Ogos 2011.

Beliau juga didakwa mengatakan pengasas Umno Datuk Onn Jaafar dan perdana menteri pertama Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman tidak layak digelar wira negara kerana mereka juga hamba penjajah British, dan pembangkang (Pakatan Rakyat) akan menulis semula sejarah negara ini jika mereka memenangi pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Ucapannya menimbulkan kekecohan terutama di kalangan ahli keluarga polis Bukit Kepong yang terbunuh dalam serangan itu.

Banyak laporan polis dibuat terhadapnya oleh persatuan bekas polis, individu dan badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) membantah kenyataannya.

Bercakap di luar mahkamah selepas itu, Mat Sabu mengucapkan syukur di atas keputusan mahkamah itu dan berterima kasih kepada semua yang menyokongnya selama ini.

Katanya, beliau kini akan memberi tumpuan kepada usahanya menubuhkan sebuah parti dan gabungan pembangkang baharu. – tmi

Timbalan presiden PAS Mohamad Sabu yang dituduh memfitnah polis Bukit Kepong, dibebaskan oleh Mahkamah Sesyen Butterworth hari ini. – Gambar oleh Hasnoor Hussain, The Malaysian Insider, 8 Julai, 2015.
Mat Sabu not guilty of defaming police...

The Sessions Court in Butterworth today found former PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu not guilty of an alleged defamatory remark about the communist attack on the Bukit Kepong police station in 1950.

Mohamad, who is widely referred to as Mat Sabu, was accused of making the remark in a ceramah in Tasek Gelugor in August 2011.

He also faces an alternative charge of having defamed three policemen - Marine Police Constable Abu Bakar Daud and police constables Jaafar Hassan and Yusoff Rono - and their families at the same time, date and place.

Mat Sabu was charged under Section 500 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail sentence of up to two years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

Sessions judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi said the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

Mat Sabu, 60, attended court today with his counsel Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, who is also the MP for Sepang.

He had been charged with defaming the policemen and their families, who had defended themselves in the Bukit Kepong police station incident.

He was charged with doing so in a speech at Pusat Asuhan Tadika Islam (Pasti) Al Fahmi, Markas Tarbiyah PAS Padang Menora in Tasek Gelugor, Seberang Perai, on Aug 21, 2011.

Outside the courtroom, Mat Sabu thanked his lawyers and supporters for seeing him through the case, which has spanned over four years.

"I am thankful that I am free from all these allegations," he said.

Hanipa said the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against his client.

"We hope the prosecution will not appeal, although it is their right to do so," Hanipa said to laughter from the small crowd gathered in support of Mat Sabu.

"It is better the prosecution now focuses on the 1MDB scandal," he joked.

Earlier, in closing his argument in court, Hanipa said the prosecution's charge against Mat Sabu was "defective".

"To charge someone with defamation against a deceased person or persons, the prosecution needs to fulfil certain requirements, which they failed to do," he said.

"Also Mat Sabu's remarks were a historical interpretation of events, which our witness, veteran historian Khoo Kay Kim said was open to many versions," he added.- mk

Lawyers pan Najib's legal letter to WSJ...

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's legal letter to The Wall Street Journal has left lawyers puzzled.

For Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen, it is a "bizarre" document.

"How bizarre asking for clarification. Just read the articles yourselves.

"If you don't understand what was written by WSJ or you have something to hide, in all likelihood, the articles were not defamatory," he tweeted.

Contacted later, Paulsen (photo) said any letter of demand should be clear and to the point.

"For defamation, it must state which parts are defamatory, the meanings attributed, the loss of reputation etc. Here, the lawyers are unclear as to which parts are defamatory," he said.

It was reported that Najib's lawyers from the firm of Hafarizam, Wan Aisha & Mubarak, had today given Dow Jones, the publisher of WSJ, 14 days to confirm the international newspaper's articles that appeared on July 3 and July 6.

"We are instructed by our client to seek confirmation as to whether it is your position, as taken in the articles, that our client misappropriated nearly US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) from 1MDB?

"We are instructed to procure your position because the articles collectively suggest that you are unsure of the 'original source of the money and what happened to the money' whilst on the other hand, the general gist of the articles create a clear impression that our client has misappropriated US$700 million belonging to 1MDB," stated the e-mailed letter.

WSJ had earlier responded saying it stood by the article, while Dow Jones maintained a similar stand as well.

'Every sentence makes me cringe'

Another lawyer Azhar Harun (photo) commented on Facebook this was the first time he found lawyers asking their potential opponent the meaning of what they had published.

"The lawyers are asking their potential opponent the meaning of what they had published before deciding what to do next," he said, adding that almost every sentence made him cringe.

"If I were acting for Dow Jones, I would advise them to reply as follows : Dear lawyers, inability to grasp and/or understand what we had published is not a known or established ground for defamation suits. Thank you," he quipped.

Apart from the content of the letter that he summarily tore apart, he also commented on the horrendous English which he said made him “cringe at almost every sentence”.

Azhar or better known as Art Harun also joked that he was surprised Najib's lawyers did not ask Dow Jones to produce four trustworthy witnesses to back up their allegations and quote Hadiths and Quranic verses in an obvious reference to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

Hadi had suggested that witnesses be produced to back-up WSJ's claims on Najib, adding that they should be trustworthy and just people.


'Let PR people draft a spin'

Former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim (photo) also tweeted his views on the letter.

Zaid, who previously owned the biggest law firm in the country, said lawyers could write good letters if they are clear what the client wants.

"If the client wants a spin, ask his PR (public relations) guys to do it, not you," he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Wan Azmir Wan Majid from the firm representing the prime minister said Dow Jones must respond to their letter within 14 days.

"At this moment, the most important issue is WSJ's confirmation with regard to the alleged misappropriation of funds from 1MDB that it claimed our client was involved in," he told Bernama.

Wan Azmir said should Dow Jones fail to respond to the letter within 14 days, the firm would send a letter of demand which it must reply within 14 days.
"Nevertheless, it is for our client to instruct us on the next course of action. What we are doing now is a normal process in any defamation suit," he said.

He said the suit could be filed anywhere, in Malaysia or the United States, depending on convenience.

He explained that three elements must be present in a defamation suit: the words complained of must be defamatory; the words complained of must refer to the plaintiff; and those statements must reach a third party.

"Delivery of the statements to a third party can be made orally or in writing. Because the WSJ's articles are also circulated through their portal or newspaper, this means that the third party that received them is in Malaysia.
"Hence why the action can be filed in Malaysia," he added.

Selangor exco member and lawyer Teng Chang Khim (photo) also expressed surprise.

“If the money did not go to your account, any reasonably competent lawyer will advise you to issue a statement categorically denying it and then issue a letter demanding for apology and in default of which legal action ensues.

“I don't know what happened to you or your lawyer,” he said. - mk

The Prime Minister last night had instructed his lawyers to send a letter of demand to Wall Street Journal.

But it was preceded by a press release by the lawyers which basically detailing out the difficulty of this legal matter. They ironed out a couple of problems before they will decide what kind of action they will take.

What this means, the press release is begging the public to understand that this matter takes time, and the exercise could possibly be a waste of time. Political-wise, they just want to buy some time for their client. To show that some action is being taken, despite some allegations that their client do not have the courage to actually do anything.

Below is the press release:

A Wall street Journal had published an article dated 3rd July 2015, implicating our client Datuk Seri Najib. Immediately, our client had instructed us, Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak, to scrutinize the said article. The article is tainted with numerous allegations against our client which involved several companies and transactions.
Combing through the said article, we have concluded that the language is intentionally or otherwise has made reference to several facts and companies which are vaguely described. Reference is made to the said article wherein it has been stated that our client had been directly probed into 1MDB, however contents of the article refers to indirect transactions where our client has been implicated with 1MDB-linked companies. A clear contradiction which requires further clarification.
This article by WSJ was issued, published and circulated through WSJ web portalhttp://www.wsj.com . Firstly, we have been instructed to identify the parties involved in the authorship, distribution and publishing, for the purpose of naming the appropriate parties in any potential actions which requires deliberation and research as the article does not reflect extensive details for service of any legal letter or court documents.
Secondly, another issue of concern is, jurisdictional issues of which the publication originates from United States of America and accessible worldwide. We have been also instructed that a local presence of WSJ is also available andwe are pursuing further clarification and details on this matter.
Since the article involves several parties, we have also been instructed to consider a joint action or an action against, in the event evidence shows aconspiracy against our client. Kindly note that the companies named as conspirators with our client, in the article are; International Petroleum Investment Co, Tanore Finance Corp, SRC International Sdn. Bhd, and Ihsan Perdana Sdn. Bhd.
They actually want to know if IPIC, Tanore, SRC and Ihsan Perdana are conspiring against Najib Razak. Well, if money went through those companies’ accounts before it end up in the PM’s bank accounts, then will the lawyers sue those companies? Maybe they should just personally ask those companies since the PM are friends with the people in those companies! Mind-boggling.
Several names of companies or organizations had only been referred to as the related companies or companies belonging to certain organizations or companies, and also the sources or destinations or the alleged transactions has not been disclosed.  This in itself either intentionally or otherwise has caused further identification of facts been required.
Once we have identified the parties, the jurisdiction, and the involvement of conspirators or are they merely parties which also had been innocently imputed in the article, we can then proceed to address the third issue.
Can’t the lawyers just ask those companies if they really conspired against the PM? This press release is getting ridiculous. By the way, in the actual letter to WSJ, the lawyers did not even ask WSJ about this. Maybe they forgot to put it in.
The third issue is to tackle all possible or plausible legal remedies of which our client shall be given advise on an action of defamation, further tortuous actions and remedies including any statutory violations by WSJ and related companies and (if any) conspirers.
This is not a straightforward legal action due to the national and international imputations. We have been instructed to identify facts and lay full facts, before our client, is able to proceed with further instructions.
The purpose of clear explanation is to avoid unnecessary objections by WSJ on the imputations that are made. Once our client has obtained all necessary facts and the position of WSJ is ascertained, we have strict instructions to immediately exhaust legal avenues and remedies.
Yours faithfully,

We are actually amazed that the lawyers would even issue such press release. It really reflects on their incompetency of the whole matter.

But of course, incompetency breeds more incompetencies as the letter of demand below shows:

The letter from Najib’s lawyers to Wall Street Journal:

We act for the Right Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, in his personal capacity.
We refer to the Articles dated 2nd July 2015 and 6th July 2015 in your Wall Street Journal which, we state, contains a plethora of convoluted, scurrilous and vague allegations against our client.
What exactly are vague allegations? Is it an allegation or not? Would it be the same with a little bit pregnant but not pregnant? An allegation is an allegation. You cannot sue someone with a vague allegation. How could a vague allegation be scurrilous?
In the circumstances, we are instructed by our Client to seek confirmation as to whether it is your position as taken in the Articles that our Client misappropriated nearly USD 700 million from 1Malaysia Development Berhad?
Now they want WSJ to confirm if the USD700 million was misappropriated by Najib Razak. WSJ can just easily tell them to just ask their Client since the money was banked in into his account. The WSJ article did state that money was channeled into his bank accounts but they do not know what happened to it, or how it was used. It’s laughable to ask for confirmation because it shows that the lawyers did not read those articles thoroughly. 
We are instructed to procure your position because the Articles collectively suggest that you are unsure of “the original source of the money and what happened to the money” whilst on the other hand, the general gist of the Articles create a clear impression that our Client has misappropriated about USD 700 million belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Precisely as their article had said, that WSJ is unsure as to where the money came from and what happened to it. We can predict what WSJ would have replied regarding their position; that they have sighted the documents and that huge sums of money have been transferred into the PM’s personal bank accounts (which the PM never denied). The lawyers just wanted WSJ to confirm and say that Najib had swindled the money, which WSJ definitely will reply – “Go ask your client if indeed he misappropriated it, the money wasn’t transferred into our accounts!”. The lawyers really do not have anything more concrete than this to go by.
In the circumstance and in the interests of our Client, we would expect a Newspaper of your international standing and reputation to state unequivocally and with clarity as to whether it is your contention that our Client misappropriated about USD 700 million belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad. You will no doubt appreciate the seriousness of the allegations made against our Client in the said Articles and this confirmation is sought to enable us to advise our Client on the appropriate legal recourse he can take to seek redress in relation to the publication of these Articles.
Why should WSJ state anything other than what they had published in their articles? Only when WSJ chose to state that yes, Najib misappropriated the money, they will take legal action.
Maybe the lawyers need to discern that the allegations WSJ made is – nearly USD700 million was pumped in into Najib Razak’s accounts. That is all. The most ironic thing  is, the lawyers did not demand WSJ to explain this, because by now all sundry know that the PM never deny that the money was definitely in his accounts.
We demand a reply within fourteen (14) days of the date hereof and please let us know whether you have appointed solicitors in Malaysia to accept service of legal proceedings on your behalf and on behalf of the reporters who wrote the Articles in the event that legal proceeding become necessary.
Basically the lawyers demand WSJ to confess something they never alleged so that Najib Razak can show the world he is doing something. This letter is a farce, made by a farcical team of lawyers who could only concoct a lousy, pathetic letter just to get some laughs from the whole world. WSJ does not even have to reply, because Najib’s lawyers really have nothing to sue them about. 
We hereby reserve all our Client’s rights in this matter.
If this is the gold standard in the administration, no wonder there is not much hope for an intelligent leadership. Please tell us this letter wasn’t actually sent to WSJ. It will really be embarrassing for the country if it did. Thank you.
Najib mahu WSJ sahkan dakwaan dalam 14 hari


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