Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Amex wants Matthias Chang ruled vexatious litigant

American Express (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd wants the High Court in Kuala Lumpur to declare lawyer Matthias Chang as a vexatious litigant.

In its originating summons filed on March 5, the company wants the court to declare Chang to be a vexatious litigant and be restrained from instituting any legal proceedings in any court without leave of a judge.

A vexatious litigant means a person who files a suit without any basis, and if the court grants the application, the person cannot not file any suit against anyone without the court’s permission.

American Express is also seeking costs and other reliefs deemed fit by court.

High Court Senior assistant registrar Suzarika Sahak set June 4 for case management of the suit after counsel N. Vanaja, for American Express, and TE Cheah, for Chang, in chambers yesterday.

On March 26, Justice Noor Azian Shaari dismissed Chang’s suit against American Express and ruled that he had failed to prove his case after hearing witnesses from both sides as well as submissions.

Chang, 60, had sued American Express for breach of contract and defamation because his card was suspended.

American Express, in its defence, said that there was no evidence of breach of contract or defamation as claimed.

The ex-political secretary of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has been incarcerated at the Kajang Prison for 12 days, was freed yesterday after the Court of Appeal granted an ex-parte order for his release.

The release was pending the hearing of his appeal against the High Court’s refusal to issue a discharge order for his release despite the fine imposed by the High Court being paid by Chang’s friend.

Chang, was sent to prison on April 1 following his refusal to pay the RM20,000 fine imposed on him by the High Court on March 25 for contempt of court in his defamation case against American Express.

On April 7, judge Noor Azian refused to issue the discharge order to Salahuddin Hashim, a friend of Chang’s, to secure Chang’s release despite the fine having been paid by Salehuddin, on grounds that a third party did not have locus standi to pay the fine.

Chang was cited for contempt when he failed to apologise to the court after an argument with the judge and a lawyer, during cross-examination by the lawyer in his civil suit. — Bernama

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