Court instructs Najib to reply opposition-led suit over election overspending

Court instructs Najib to reply opposition-led suit over election overspending
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court has instructed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to reply a suit filed by the Opposition alleging overspending by Barisan Nasional during campaigning during the 13th general election.

During a hearing in chambers, deputy registrar Norfauzani Mohd Nordin instructed Najib, who is Prime Minister, to file his statement of defence before Oct 1.

The suit, initiated by a group of Opposition politicians, also named Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the Election Commission (EC) as defendants.

The registrar told other defendants to reply, giving them a deadline of Sept 15 for Tengku Adnan, Sept 14 for 1MDB and the EC.

Najib's lawyer Choo Shi Jiu told reporters that his client had yet to be served a statement of claim by the opposition, thus the longer deadline for him to reply his defence.

Norfauzani had also instructed Opposition members to serve Najib the documents.

The registrar fixed Oct 9 for next case management before judicial commissioner Mohd Zaki Wahab.

The suit follows the revelation by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission that the RM2.6 billion (S$870 million) donation deposited in Najib's personal bank account was for BN's use for its election campaign.

The suit, filed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tian Chua, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, seeks to question if overspending occurred, which would be in violation to EC spending limits.

The suit also sought to have the results of the 13th general election be nullified, with all 222 parliamentary seats vacated and fresh elections held.

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