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 Malaysia prince wins defamation suit against wife

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Join date : 2009-10-05

PostSubject: Malaysia prince wins defamation suit against wife   Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:43 pm

UALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A Malaysian prince won a defamation suit Thursday against his teenage wife who accused him of sexual and physical abuse after she fled back home to Indonesia.

The High Court ruled in favor of Tengku Fakhry Ismail Petra, a prince in Malaysia's northern Kelantan state, because his wife had no lawyers to represent her, said the prince's lawyer, Mohamad Haaziq Pillay.

The prince had sought 105 million ringgit ($30 million) from Manohara Odelia Pinot and her mother for making false allegations against him, but the court would decide later how much they should pay him, Mohamad Haaziq said. The prince's lawyer said they would look into what legal measures can be taken later to obtain payment from Pinot. However, he stressed that Tengku Fakhry was more concerned about simply clearing his name.

"My client feels vindicated," Mohamad Haaziq told The Associated Press. "They made him look like a monster, they tarnished his reputation internationally, but it has all been lies. This was their opportunity to come back to prove their case against him, but they failed to do so."

Pinot's lawyer in Jakarta could not immediately be reached for comment.

Malaysian lawyers hired by Pinot in the defamation case quit in September, saying she had not cooperated with them, gave them no clear instructions and refused to return to Malaysia for discussions. The High Court then said it would automatically rule in favor of the prince if Pinot failed to appoint new lawyers.

Pinot, a well-known socialite in neighboring Indonesia, married the prince last year after she turned 16. She left him in what she claimed was a dramatic escape from a hotel in May while accompanying the royal family on a trip to Singapore.

She and her mother subsequently told the media that Fakhry, 31, had held her captive and treated her as a sex slave. She also made graphic allegations of physical torture during their marriage.

Tengku Fakhry filed a demand in the Islamic Shariah Court in July calling on Pinot to return to him and fulfill her responsibilities as his wife. The court is expected to hear the case within weeks, and Tengku Fakhry's lawyer indicated he would launch divorce proceedings if Pinot refuses his demand.


Associated Press Writer Irwan Firdaus in Jakarta contributed to this report.
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