WE APOLOGISE

As it turned out today, the anticipated move by The NSTP & Gang of Three to cite blogger Jeff Ooi for contempt of court did not take place.

Our ‘prediction’ fell flat on our face. What we reported by quoting sources from the legal circle didn’t happen, and Jeff is safe, at least for now.

For making that mistake, WE SINCERELY APOLOGISE to all our readers, the way all responsible journalists would whenever we report inaccurate information, the exception being Kalimullah Hassan for his erroneous June 11 column about the Mahathir-Abdullah Tokyo Meet-up.

As we are not from the same breed of Kalimullah, we apologise to you and we will slap ourselves hard on our face. But, believe us, we will come back to redeem our credibility in the days ahead.

The contempt of court issue arose over a post by Screenshots reader SuperShyteStirrer after the ex-parte injunction has been issued against Jeff. The NSTP shebang has instructed its lawyers Shearn Delamore to serve notice on the defence lawyers, while NSTP acknowledged that the particular reader’s comment had since been deleted from Screenshots.

These are the facts we will vehemently stand by for now.

However, we can’t guarantee that the issue of contempt over SuperShyteStirrer‘s comment on the person of Kalimullah Hassan will not be invoked by the plaintiff when the hearing proper starts on March 6 for Jeff.

Jeff’s hearing Jan 30

At the hearing in chambers before Justice Abdul Malik Ishak at the civil high court in Kuala Lumpur this morning, the court was given the update that Jeff had filed an application to strike out the suit on the ground that the Statement of Claim against him was ‘fatally deficient’.

Separately, Jeff had also filed with the court to set aside the ex-parte injunction obtained by the plaintiffs on January 11.

However, this morning, the plaintiffs’ lawyers managed to obtain an ad interim to have Jeff continue to keep 13 allegedly defamatory postings off his Screenshots blog pending the March 6 hearing in relation to strike the defamation suit taken by the NSTP shebang against him.

In a development similar to the latest development in Rocky’s case, both parties have agreed not to publish anything that risks prejudicing the defamation suit. The joint statement recorded at the Court reads:

“By agreement, all parties henceforth agree not to publish any articles, comments or posts 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 case.”

On the other hand, Jeff’s lawyer Haris Ibrahim said that the judge would first deal with the striking out application before hearing other matters when the parties meet in court on March 6.

It means that the interparte injunction and the setting aside of the ex parte injunction will be fixed for mention on March 6. If the striking out application is successful, the defamation suit against Jeff will be dropped and there will be no injunction left to contest.

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