Lynas withdraws libel suit against SMSL

KUANTAN (July 10, 2013): Lynas Corporations Limited and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd today withdrew a libel suit filed against the Anti-Lynas group 'Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas' (SMSL) at the Kuantan High Court, here.

The decision was made before Justice Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya in her chambers. Counsel Datuk Bastian Vendargon, representing SMSL, when met by reporters said the lawyer for the plaintiff, Rishwant Singh, had told the judge that both companies had made the decision to withdraw the suit filed by them last year, before proceedings commenced.

On April 19 last year, Lynas Corporation of Sydney, Australia and Lynas Malaysia sued SMSL Sdn Bhd, two of its directors, Tan Bun Teet and Lim Sow Teow as well as three volunteers namely Hang Chong Leung, Lee Chow Fong and Ismail Abu Bakar, regarding a libellous article carried in their blog on March 22, last year at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registrar's office.

Lynas had sought for an injunction ordering SMSL and five others to remove the article entitled 'Civil Society Organisations Joint Statement on Lynas Issue: SMSL Malaysian NGO Statement Against Lynas' from their blog until the disposal of the suit.

On July 26 2012, Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Datuk John Louis O'Hara had dismissed the application by Lynas to get the injunction order and decided that at that stage, the court could not conclude whether the article was libellous or otherwise, until they heard the testimony of witnesses during proceedings.

On Sept 26 last year, O'Hara allowed the application by SMSL to transfer the suit to the Kuantan High Court for hearing.

Verdagon, however, said that Lynas did not state any reason or grounds for withdrawing the libel suit. "Today should have been the day for hearing the application by us to obtain the document regarding the case before we were told that Lynas had withdrawn the suit," he said.

He said that Mariana had informed that the amount of damages to be paid by Lynas to SMSL would be determined by the registrar. – Bernama