KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court today set aside leave granted to the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) and its executive Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail to initiate contempt proceedings against the Vice-President of PKR, Mohd Rafizi Ramli.
The contempt proceedings is related to an article about NFCorp, posted by the former Pandan MP on his blog and Facebook.
Counsel Razlan Hadri Zulkifli representing Mohd Rafizi, said the court ruled the decision after finding that there was no basis to continue with the proceedings as the Court of Appeal had allowed his client’s appeal to set aside NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh’s defamation suit against him.
“The court is of the view that there is no basis for the committal proceedings. As such the court has struck out the leave application granted to NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh,” he told reporters after the case management in chambers today, before Judge Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad.
Razlan said Judge Nik Hasmat came to the decision after the court was informed that the Court of Appeal had set aside the High Court’s order for Mohd Rafizi to pay RM200,000 in damages to NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh for defaming them.
However, Razlan said if NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh won in the appeal over the suit in the Federal Court they could file an application for leave to institute contempt proceedings again.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who was present at the proceedings today said his clients (NFCorp and Mohamad Salleh) had filed an appeal over the Court of Appeal’s decision to set aside their suit and the Federal Court has set July 11 for the case management.
On May 23, 2017, Mohamad Salleh and NFCorp were granted leave to commence committal proceedings against Mohd Rafizi after he posted another article about NFC despite a court order forbidding him from doing so.
Mohd Rafizi had also applied to set aside the committal application filed by Mohamad Salleh and NFCorp related to the purchase of property at KL Eco City, Bangsar.
On Oct 31, 2016, the High Court ruled in favour of Mohamad Salleh and NFCorp and ordered Mohd Rafizi to pay damages totalling RM200,000.
However, the court dismissed Mohamad Salleh and NFCorp’s suit against Malaysiakini, named as the second defendant, and ordered them to pay RM50,000 to the news portal.
On May 13, Mohd Rafizi won in his appeal to set aside a High Court decision which had ordered him to pay RM200,000 in damages to Mohamad Salleh and his company for defamation.
The three-member bench comprising Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, Datuk Hanipah Farikullah and Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said allowed Mohd Rafiz’s appeal after it was unanimously decided that the appeal raised by Mohd Rafizi has merits.
The court also ordered Mohamad Salleh to refund the total sum of RM300,000, including RM200,000 in damages and RM100,000 in costs which Mohd Rafizi had paid to Mohamad Salleh.