Monday, August 10

Najib applies to expunge Dr Mahathir’s affidavit supporting Dr Ling

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KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has applied to expunge Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s affidavit in his defamation suit against former MCA Tun Dr Ling Liong.

Dr Mahathir had filed the affidavit on Feb 15 in support of Dr Ling’s application to strike out Najib’s suit.

The former prime minister cited abuse of the court process as his ground.

Najib’s lawyer Nor Emelia Mohd Iszeham told reporters, the plaintiff’s application to expunge the affidavit was made on grounds that Dr Mahathir had failed to state the source of the articles he believed to be facts.

She said justice Datuk John Louis O’hara in chambers yesterday set April 6 for case management.

Dr Ling’s lawyer Villie Nethi was present during the proceeding.

The plaintiff and defendant on the advice of the High Court had earlier through their representatives initiated a mediation in a bid to settle the case out of court but the attempt failed.

On Oct 27 last year, Najib sued Dr Ling seeking among others, an order for the former Transport Minister to publish a public apology, in newspapers or magazines of the plaintiff’s choice and on the latter’s terms.

Najib is also seeking an injunction to restrain Dr Ling or his staff from further slandering him.

The prime minister is claiming general, special, aggravated and exemplary damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

In his statement of claim, Najib alleged that Ling had erroneously and maliciously spoken against him during an event at a university college here.

Dr Ling’s statement was allegedly published through an article in a news portal on Oct 3.

Najib said Dr Ling’s statement could be taken to mean that he had misappropriated public funds into his personal account and misused them for personal interest.

Najib further alleged that Dr Ling’s statement implied that he had misappropriated funds belonging to government investment company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and that he is incompetent to lead or be the prime minister of Malaysia. — Bernama