KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today ordered freelance preacher Ahmad Dusuki Abd Rani to file his statement of defence by Oct 20 to a lawsuit brought by Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil (pix).

The Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament, as the plaintiff, filed a suit against Ahmad Dusuki on Sept 5 for allegedly accusing him of giving a political talk in a mosque in Rawang, Selangor.

Lawyer Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi, representing Fahmi, said the court also ordered the plaintiff to file a reply to defence before or on Nov 17 and fixed Nov 27 for next case management.

“The writ and statement of claim have been served on the defendant (Ahmad Dusuki), and a memorandum of appearance has been filed by the defendant through his lawyer from Messrs Srihana Mohamad & Partners,” said Asheeq Ali when contacted after the case management via e-review before senior assistant registrar Nur Shasha Hidayah Nor Azahar today.

Regarding another lawsuit filed against the owner of the Facebook account 'N13 Kuang', Mohd Fauzan Madzlan, involving the same issue, Asheeq Ali said the court fixed Oct 31 for further case management.

“We are still in the process of submitting the writ and statement of claim against the defendant (Mohd Fauzan),” said the lawyer.

Based on the statement of claim, Fahmi said the two defendants had published defamatory words by accusing him of abusing a place of worship, which is a mosque, to campaign for an election and had acted contrary to the orders of the Sultan of Selangor.

Fahmi claimed that the defamatory words were posted on Mohd Fauzan’s Facebook account and Ahmad Dusuki’s Facebook and Instagram accounts on July 31.

According to Fahmi, the slanderous statements were baseless and the Selangor Islamic Religious Council had confirmed that he did not give any political speech as accused by the defendants.

He also claimed that the defamatory statements were made with the aim of defaming his good name in order to gain cheap publicity or create a sensation in the national political arena, as well as to tarnish his reputation as a member of parliament and a Cabinet Minister. -Bernama