KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court was told today that a media statement by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi (pix) which was published in Sinar Online last year was a political comment and and did not intend to disrupt hearing of a court case.

Lawyer Datuk K. Kirubakaran, representing Ab Aziz, said it was a common scenario in politics for a politician to be criticised by other parties.

“In this case, Ab Aziz only gave a political comment and criticism involving former Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,” he said in his argument on Mukhriz’s application for leave to initiate contempt of court proceeding against Ab Aziz .

Kirubakaran said his client also did not specifically refer to the trial involving Mukhriz and the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Tengku Sarifuddin Tengku Ahmad, in his statement.

“The statement was based on general issues and did not touch on the ongoing trial,” he said, adding that his client had no intention of disrupting the court proceedings.

“The court will decide based on witness testimony in court, and not look at comments posted on blogs or. (be) influenced by public perception in making a decision,” he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who represented Mukhriz, submitted that the statement by Ab Aziz interfered with the court proceedings.

“The statement is prejudicial to the case which is on going and intended by the respondent (Ab Aziz) i to deceive the minds of the public,” he said, adding that the statement did indeed refer to the trial involving his client and Tengku Sarifuddin.

On July 18, 2017, Mukhriz filed an ex-parte application against Ab Aziz to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the minister for issuing the media statement as published by Sinar Online on July 15, 2017 regarding a defamation suit filed by Mukhriz against Tengku Sarifuddin.

In the application, Mukhriz claimed that the statement was issued after Mukhriz and his father finished testifying on July 13 and 14 last year.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim set March 15 for the decision on Mukhriz’s application.

— Bernama