Court to hear Feb 19 application for Lynas to produce certain documents over defamation suit

By ONG HAN SEAN – 17th December 2012

KUANTAN: The High Court will hear on Feb 19 an application to getLynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Lynas Corporation Ltd to produce certain documents in a defamation suit Lynas has filed against an anti-Lynas movement, Save Malaysia Stop Lynas.

Lawyer for the defendants Gene Anand Vendargon said judge Justice Mariana Yahya held that there was no need to wait for the outcome of Lynas’ pending appeal and she would hear the application first.

Vendargon said his clients, Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) Sdn Bhdand its directors Tan Bun Teet and Lim Sow Teow, had filed the application earlier as Lynas had refused to produce certain documents.

He said the discoveries were related to contracts and various other documents such as photographs of the tank construction and design specifications.

“It does not matter what is the outcome of Lynas’ appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision to move the suit to Kuantan. We will let the judge here decide whether to order Lynas to produce the documents,” he said after the hearing in chambers Monday.

Lynas Corporation Ltd and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd filed the defamation suit on April 19, claiming that an article posted on SMSL’s website titled “Civil Society Organisations joint statement on Lynas issue: SMSL & Malaysian NGOs statement against Lynas” contained defamatory statements.

The statement pertains to the construction of the Lynas rare earth refinery in Gebeng here.

On Sept 26, judge Justice John Louis O’Hara allowed the suit to be transferred to the Kuantan High Court.

The Court of Appeal had fixed March 8 for hearing of Lynas’ appeal to set aside the decision.

On another matter, Vendargon said seven other Kuantan residents had filed an application for leave for a judicial review on the issuance of Lynas’ temporary operating licence (TOL).

The High Court here will hear the leave application Tuesday.

“The only difference from Tan Bun Teet and Ismail Abu Bakar’s judicial review is this group is challenging the issuance of the TOL in September whereas the former is challenging the approval of the TOL,” he said.

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