Malaysian Court Rules Against Manohara

The High Court has allowed the Tengku Temenggong of Kelantan, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Sultan Ismail Petra, to enter a judgment in default against his estranged wife Manohara Odelia Pinot and her mother after they failed to engage new lawyers in his RM105mil defamation suit. This means that Manohara and her mother Daisy Fajarina will have to pay Tengku Muhammad Fakhry for defaming him. However, the amount of damages has yet to be determined by the court. A judgment in default is binding in favour of the plaintiff when the defendant has not responded to a summons or has failed to appear before a court of law. Speaking to reporters later, the prince’s counsel Mohd Haaziq Pillay said High Court senior assistant registrar Shazali Hidayat Shariff granted the order in his chambers yesterday after the mother and daughter failed to meet the deadline set for them to engage new lawyers. Earlier this month, Messrs Fakrul Hisham Abdullah and Associates, engaged to act for Manohara and Daisy Fajarina, withdrew as their solicitors on record. “The defendants have been given the opportunity to appear in court with evidence to support their allegations, but until today, they have not turned up,” said Mohd Haaziq. In July, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry filed a suit against Manohara and Daisy for defamation seeking RM35mil each in aggravated, exemplary and compensatory damages as well as costs, interest and other relief deemed fit by the court. He also applied for an injunction to restrain the defendants from further speaking and uttering similar words or statements against him. Manohara, 17, had fled from her husband on May 31 while they were in Singapore to visit the Sultan of Kelantan at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital. She returned to Jakarta after accusing the 31-year-old prince of physically and sexually abusing her, claims which were reported widely in the Indonesian and Malaysian media. As the baseless allegations were meant to disparage him in the eyes of the members of the royalty, the Government and the public, the prince said he was forced to initiate legal proceedings.

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