A Sabah lawyer has won a court battle against PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang over Hadi’s remarks made on Christianity.
Marcel Jude Joseph, 54, had named Hadi as the defendant in his suit filed on Jan 25 this year, Sabah newspaper Daily Express reported today.
The Sessions Court on Aug 12 ordered the Marang MP to pay Marcel damages for interference with the constitutional right of the plaintiff to freedom of religion under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.
The sum of the damages is to be assessed, as well as the sum for damages for blasphemy against the defendant, besides statutory interest and cost.
The judgment was made in default as no appearance had been made by the defendant.
Marcel had applied for a judgment as Hadi did not turn up in court, and the court then issued a certificate of non-appearance by the defendant.
This was despite Hadi being served with the summons by Marcel’s lawyer on July 19.
Marcel, who is a member of the Sabah Bar and a member of the Sabah Catholic Lawyers Apostolate, filed the suit against Hadi on his statement, which was alleged to be blasphemous and an unlawful interference with the plaintiff's constitutional right to freedom of worship under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.
This was based on a re-published article by online portal Free Malaysia Today, titled “Christianity rejected by the educated, says Hadi”, quoting the PAS leader from an article in the Islamic party organ Harakah.
Marcel claimed that the defendant made defamatory statements in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth paragraphs of the said article.
The aforementioned statements were calculated to make negative and false inferences of the plaintiff and his faith and religious belief, Marcel said in his suit.