(Thursday Feb 2 2012)
Rocky has something to say before he moves on...
Blogger Rocky AKA Ahirudin Attan, in a long-drawn (5 years) defamation case against him by Kalimullah Hassan and three other former New Straits Times Press executives -- finally had it settled amicably.
(The three are Syed Faisal Albar, Hishamuddin Aun and Brenden Pereira.)
Actually, the NSTP was also a plaintiff in the suit but withdrew it in 2010 -- A good thing too!
In a statement of settlement tendered Tuesday to the High Court by counsel for both parties, Rocky stated that he apologised for considerable distress, embarrassment and inconvenience caused to the four.
"I recognise, acknowledge and empathise with the considerable distress, embarrassment and inconvenience caused to the plaintiffs resulting from the publication of the statements."
In 2007, Kalimullah, then NSTP deputy chairman; Hishamuddin, then group editor-in-chief ; Syed Faisal Syed Albar, then director and CEO; and Brendan John Pereira, then group editor - filed the suit against Rocky over defamatory postings in his blog.
According to the statement of settlement, which was made available to the media, Rocky also expressed his sincere and utmost regret for the consequences caused to the plaintiffs.
He withdrew all allegations and imputations against the four and agreed not to further publish any similar allegations on his blog, Rocky's Bru, or other blogs or websites.
He was present in court yesterday with his lawyer, Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos.
Counsel Rishwant Singh appeared for the four plaintiffs.
High Court judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad made no order as to costs.
Jahaberdeen said his client was also required to publish the statement of settlement on his blog.
In the suit filed in January 2007, the plaintiffs alleged that Rocky caused to be published certain defamatory posts on his blog regarding the plaintiffs between June 8, 2006, and Dec 2, 2006.
They further alleged that the defamatory articles, which appeared on the blog, should be read alongside and when read as such, demonstrated a clear pattern of consistent and continuous conduct by the defendant to defame and injure the plaintiffs' personal and professional reputations, property, trade as well as goodwill.