Lawyers from Shearn Delamore, NSTP and the four individual plaintiffs were forced to take a haircut.

The fact is, the lawyers of the plaintiffs (NSTP, Kalimullah Hassan, Hishamuddin Aun, Brenden John Pereira and Syed Faisal Albar) had voluntarily proposed to defence lawyers, inviting them to enter into a joint undertaking to save a suit that was described as “fatally deficient“.

NSTP took the position after its lawyers had sensed that defence counsels were mulling over the weekend to cite subjudice against NSTP Group Editor-in-Chief Hishamuddin Aun, a plaintiff in the defamation case against blogger Rocky and Jeff Ooi, for co-authoring yesterday’s interview with PM/Umno president Abdullah Badawi in The NST and Berita Minggu, in which the No. 1 was pawned to spit venom at the bloggers with the defendants, Rocky and Jeff, made the specific contextual targets.

The draft, which was prepared by Shearn Delamore and later tendered and accepted by the Court, says:

That the parties agree to henceforth not publish any article, comment or post regarding the dispute presently before the High Court in this action that may be regarded as subjudice or that may prejudice the fair trial of the action.

With that recorded and deposited at the Court, both blogger Rocky and the entire stable of The NSTP media, which includes the weekday and weekend editions of The NST, Berita Harian, all its news portals and Monsterblog.com.my, are now forbidden to publish any articles or comment on matters that may be subjudice or prejudicial to the libel suit between the two parties.

Contrary to the January 26 report in The NST entiled: NSTP wants postings in blogs removed, Rocky has been allowed to keep hosting online all the 48 articles originally cited by the plaintiffs in their Statement of Claims against the blogger until the disposal of his application to have the suit struck off.

However, as a gesture of good faith, defence counsel Edmund Bon told the press that his client had voluntarily removed about 400 comments which were received from readers and posted after the lawsuit was announced

“It is in no way an admission that any of the content was subjudice,” Bon told The Associated Press.

“There was no way to remove only selected comments, so we had no alternative but to put it all off-line … We do this to err on the side of caution, to let the judicial process take its due course.”

Thus far, the defence has play a gentleman’s game. Let’s watchdog The NSTP so that it keeps to the commitment it made to the Court.

As it is, the records show that Kalimullah Hassan has cried wolf once too many as his announced retirement from writing in The NST has all been lies, nothing but blatant lies.

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