Najib gets permanent stay over filing of defence in former Umno member's suit

Najib gets permanent stay over filing of defence in former Umno member's suit
PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has obtained a permanent stay over the filing of his statement of defence in the civil suit filed by a former Langkawi Wanita Umno member against the Prime Minister.

Najib has also been given a stay from filing his affidavits to oppose Anina Saadudin's injunction bid to freeze his assets and her application for a judgment on admission over his account details in the civil dispute.

On Thursday, High Court Judicial Commissioner Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab granted the premier's stay application pending the disposal of his application to strike out the suit.

Speaking to reporters here after the decision was delivered in chambers, Najib's lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun said the court ruled that there were special circumstances to grant a stay.

"The judicial commissioner held that if a stay is not allowed it will effect the defendants' bid to strike out the suit," he said.

Mohd Hafarizam said that the court ruled that the stay would not prejudice Anina as the defence statement would be filed if the striking out application was dismissed by the court later.

He said the court has set Oct 6 for case management of the striking out application.

On the grounds of the striking out the application, Mohd Hafarizam said they are saying Anina has no legal rights to initiate the lawsuit as she was no longer a Umno member.

"We are saying Anina has no legal rights as she is not a public officer or office-bearer of the party," he said.

Besides that, he said they said that any matters related to affairs of the political party cannot be challenged in court as stipulated under Section 18C of the Societies Act.

Anina's lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who confirmed the decision, said they would also discuss the proper way to dispose of another suit filed by Anina in relation to her termination of her membership from the party.

In her injunction application, Anina, among others wants Najib to give all details pertaining to his assets and money in any banks and financial institutions as well as his shares in any companies within 10 days from a court order in sworn affidavits.

In her grounds to support her application, she said Najib had made an admission that RM2.6bil (S$840,000) was a donation given to him for the use and interest of Umno.

Anina sued Najib seeking the return of part of the RM2.6bil donation allegedly deposited into a Singapore bank account. Anina said she had filed the suit on behalf of Umno and its best interests.

She have named Najib and Umno public officer Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh as defendants in the suit.

In the statement of claim, Anina said Umno supreme council members had stated that Najib was appointed a trustee of the party and they received large sums of money from Najib which originated from the "AmPrivate Banking account" where the RM2.6bil was deposited to finance their political operations.

She claimed that Najib, 62, had breached the Umno Constitution, the provisions of the Societies Act 1966 and his common law duties as a trustee.

Anina said the RM2.6bil or a large portion of it was transferred to a bank account in the island republic that did not belong to Umno.

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