May 27, 2016
Pro UMNO Lawyer Shafee: Time to learn to eat the humble pie– Who is “We”?
Senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah expressed his disappointment with today’s Kuala Lumpur High Court decision which dismissed his suit against lawyer Tommy Thomas, former Court of Appeal judge V.C George, the Malaysian Bar and former President Christopher Leong, claiming it was “erroneous”.
“Naturally, we are disappointed with the decision on the matter. However we take the position and certainly believe that the judgment is erroneous.In light of this, we will be filing an appeal together with a certificate of urgency and hope for the matter to be heard expeditiously by the Court of Appeal. We are taking steps to compile a record of appeal immediately,” he said.
Shafee was the senior lawyer who was granted a fiat by then Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail to prosecute former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.
However, upon gaining a conviction at the Federal Court against Anwar, he held a public talk at Kelana Jaya for UMNO Youth about the case.
Subsequently, the UMNO-linked lawyer also held talks elsewhere.
This led to Tommy filing a motion, which was seconded by George, at the Malaysian Bar AGM last year complaining about Shafee’s conduct in having the public talks.
Shafee then filed a suit to stop Tommy and George from tabling the motion against him and obtained an ex-parte injunction a day before the AGM.
Today, Justice Hanipah Farikullah dismissed the defamation suit and accepted the defendants defence of fair comment, justification and qualified privilege. The court found it was improper for Shafee to discuss ‘in camera’ evidence at a forum.
“For this court, evidence involving in camera evidence is not proper for an advocate and solicitor to divulge it to the public. To my mind, there is some substantive truth for the first defendant (Tommy) and the second defendant (George) in the defence of justification,” Justice Hanipah said, among others, before dismissing the suit.