Tuesday, November 12

Appeal court asks counsels in Pua vs Najib defamation suit to submit on consequential order

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PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal wants counsels representing Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tony Pua Kiam Wee in a defamation lawsuit to make further submissions on whether the High Court should have given consequential order when it allowed the former prime minister’s application to discontinue the lawsuit.

Justice Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, who chaired a three-member bench, gave counsels Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Datuk Wira Mohd Hafarizam Harun one week to submit their respective written submissions on that issue.

Malik was representing Pua, who is Damansara Member of Parliament and also political secretary to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, while Mohd Hafarizam appeared for Najib.

“The High Court judge had already allowed Najib’s application to withdraw the suit. Did he make any consequential order?

“Was the interim injunction granted (to Najib); is there any undertaking as to the damages?” Justice Dr Hamid Sultan asked Mohd Hafarizam.

Justice Dr Hamid Sultan, who sat with Datuk Hanipah Farikullah and Datuk Lau Bee Lan, then told counsels that the court would notify them of the date for the court to deliver the decision. On July 30 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Najib to withdraw his suit against Pua over a video about the tabling of the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill or RUU355 despite the latter’s objection.

Pua subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal against this High Court’s decision in allowing Najib to withdraw his suit.

Meanwhile, Pua’s appeal is still pending hearing at the Federal Court against the Aug 4, 2017 decision of the High Court to grant Najib an interim injunction to prevent him (Pua) from continuing to make statements and air the video clip. The hearing is scheduled for Oct 2.

In dismissing Pua’s appeal to lift the interim injunction order, Court of Appeal judge Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, in his written judgement, had said the court must take judicial notice that Najib had then been cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to 1Malaysia Development Bhd by previous Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

Najib sued Pua in his personal capacity, alleging that the latter had made defamatory statements against him in a two minutes and 21 seconds live video which was uploaded on his official Facebook site. — Bernama