Najib amending writ in libel suit

Najib amending writ in libel suit
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will include statements by the Attorney-General (A-G) and Malaysian Anti - Corruption Commission (MACC) in his writ of summons regarding his libel suit against Harakah.

Najib's lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun said he had been instructed by his client to amend the writ and statement of claim, to put in the statements.

The Prime Minister is suing Harakah managing director and writer Dr Rosli Yaakop and Harakah daily portal editor-in-chief Taufek Yahya over an article published in the portal about 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and Riza Aziz, who is his stepson.

After meeting with High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng in chambers yesterday, Mohd Hafarizam said that A-G Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali and MACC had cleared Najib of any criminal wrongdoing concerning the 1MDB issue.

They had also confirmed that the RM2.6 billion (S$866 million) deposited into Najib's personal accounts was a donation, he said.

"Justice Hue ordered us to put in an application to amend the writ and statement of claim as soon as possible for it to be heard and to be given further direction.

"The final case management is fixed for March 9," said Mohd Hafarizam.

He said the judge had also hinted that the parties should consider going for a settlement.

On the defendants' application to tender 20 articles as exhibits during trial, Mohd Hafarizam said Justice Hue reserved decision on the matter. Both parties were to raise it during the hearing and cite case law to support their argument.

Najib raised an objection on Dec 7 last year, saying that the 20 articles were irrelevant because they were published after he had filed the defamation suit against the defendants.

Najib, who is suing in his personal capacity, said the Feb 19, 2015, Harakah article contained defamatory words against him.

In his suit, filed the following March 18, Najib said the offending words implied that he had abused his power to obtain wealth from a questionable source.

He is seeking an apology, damages and an injunction preventing the defendants from further discussing or publishing the defamatory article.

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