Suit, Press Publicity Meant To Tarnish My Image; Shafie Apdal Hits Back

KOTA KINABALU: Shafie Apdal is suing Semporna lawyer Datuk Ainal Fatah for malicious prosecution, by publishing in the media, his application to bar the Parti Warisan Sabah President from contesting or voting in the coming 14th general election.

In his suit filed at the Kota Kinabalu High Court on Tuesday, Shafie claimed that Ainal, either personally or through his counsel, had made public his application, highlighting alleged corruption in leading newspapers, with intent at causing maximum damage to his (Shafie’s) reputation as a well-respected politician.

Further, the publication of the unverified allegations in the defendant’s statement in the media was in breach of rule 50A of the Advocates (Practice and Etiquette) Rules 1988 which provides that copies of documents filed in court are not to be furnished to the press for publication before the hearing of the matter in open court.

The conduct of the defendant as outlined shows that he had acted deliberately to cause harm and damage to the plaintiff even though his application is unsustainable, frivolous and vexatious, as well as an abuse of the process of the court.

The writ was issued by Messrs Lind Willie Wong and Chin, as Advocates and Solicitors for the plaintiff.

According to Shafie, the malicious and ill intent of the defendant was also shown when at the hearing on 19th April 2018 before the High Court Judge, the defendant’s counsel had refused to accept earlier dates proposed by the Judge.

He however had agreed to accept the later date of 7th May 2018 even though by that date, the defendant’s application would have been rendered redundant or academic which had been highlighted by the Judge during the hearing.

“The malicious and ill intent of the defendant was further evident by the defendant having filed his application without any affidavit verifying the alleged corrupt practices against the plaintiff stated in his statement as a mandatory requirement under Order 53 Rule 3(2) of the Rules of Court 2012.

“The malicious and ill intent of the defendant was further evident by the defendant ignoring the direction of the High Court Judge that the defendant was to serve all papers in respect of the Defendant’s application for judicial review by 20th April 2018 on all the parties.

Despite such direction, the defendant had failed to serve the papers on the solicitors for the Plaintiff.

The suit also said that Shafie’s reputation has been harmed and seriously damaged and that he was also put to inconvenience and anxiety and has suffered loss and damages.

Shafie is claiming general damages, exemplary and aggravated damages, interests, and costs as well as other relief the court may seem fit.