KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd has denied defaming DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang in relation to the party's central executive committee (CEC) election.
Utusan Melayu, named as the sole defendant in Lim's suit, said it had exercised reasonable care in obtaining and verifying information contained in the article published in its newspaper, Mingguan Malaysia, on Aug 18 last year.
It said the journalistic investigations which led to the publication of the article was prompted by various statements and articles in the mass media in respect of the conduct and results of the DAP election held on Dec 15, 2012.
The defendant said it was also from a booklet titled "Laporan Ekuiti", said to be the work of one Father Augustus Chen, which was distributed to the public.
Utusan claimed it had common interest in the subject and was under a moral or social duty to broadcast the information to the readers.
In its statement of defence filed on Nov 22 last year, Utusan contended that it relied on the entirety of its investigations prior to the publication of the article and refuted that Lim was entitled to any damages over the matter.
On Friday, High Court judge Justice Yeoh Wee Siam set Aug 22 to hear the suit after meeting the parties in chambers.
Lim's lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo told reporters that so far, he was planning to call Lim to testify in the civil dispute.