Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beautician sues hubby’s lawyer

Crying foul: Sri Wani wants to clear her name.

: Beauty care boutique owner Sri Wani Choo Abdullah, accused by her husband of being a man, has filed a RM10mil suit against his lawyer for allegedly defaming her through media statements on the issue.

She named syariah lawyer Muhammad Hafiz Abdul Rashid and his legal firm Irsamuddin Hafiz and Associates as first and second defendants in her summons in connection with statements made by him at the High Court here on April 5. She filed her claim at the same court yesterday.

Sri Wani, 37, married former Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia dean Dr Bahrom Sanugi, 61, in Songkhla, Thailand, on Aug 19, 2009. He took her as his third wife.

A year after their marriage, Dr Bahrom accused Sri Wani of being a man.

He has since filed an application in the Syariah High Court to compel her to undergo a DNA test to confirm her gender, the results of which are still pending.

Sri Wani claims Muhammad Hafiz had on April 5 given a media statement that implied her husband was seeking a divorce on the excuse that she was not a real woman.

She said his statement appeared in various newspapers, online news portals and on YouTube the next day.

Sri Wani said Muhammad Hafiz had “crossed the line” in making the remarks as there was no case connected to the issue on April 5.

However, she added, she had made an ex-parte application on that day for an injunction to stop Dr Bahrom's other wives from making malicious statements against her.

The court ruled on the same day that it would be heard as an inter-parte case.

Sri Wani said Muhammad Hafiz had, among other things, said she had undergone gender modification and was an immoral person of bad character.

She added that due to his statements, her name had been tarnished, she had become the subject of scandal and her boutique had suffered losses of over RM500,000.

Sri Wani said that as a syariah lawyer, Muhammad Hafiz should have acted professionally and followed legal ethics, particularly on giving statements to the media regarding ongoing proceedings.

She is seeking damages of RM10mil, exemplary damages, interest at 8% per year, costs, and any other relief deemed fit by the court.

Sri Wani is also seeking an injunction preventing the defendants and their agents from publishing the allegedly defamatory articles and videos, or any further statements with similar effect against her.

Muhammad Hafiz and his firm are representing Dr Bahrom in the couple's validity of solemnisation and temporary separation (faraq nikah) case at the Syariah High Court here.

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