Two from Harakah ordered to defend suit by Najib

Two from Harakah ordered to defend suit by Najib
Prime Minister Najib Razak

KUALA LUMPUR: A writer and the editor-in-chief of the PAS party organ have been ordered to file their defence in a defamation suit brought by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over 1MDB and his stepson.

High Court senior assistant registrar V. Vanita ordered the defendants - Harakah managing director and writer Dr Rosli Yaakop and Harakah daily portal editor-in-chief Taufek Yahya - to file their defence by Friday.

Speaking to reporters here yesterday, Najib's counsel Nor Emelia Iszeham said they were ordered to reply to the defence statement by May 8.

The suit is fixed for case management before High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng on May 28, she said after the parties met Vanita in chambers.

Lawyer Azhana Mohd Khairuddin, who appeared for the defendants, confirmed that they had been ordered to file their defence in the civil dispute.

In his suit filed on March 18, the Prime Minister said a Feb 19 article titled "Dana 1MDB biayai syarikat filem Riza Aziz (Bhg 2)" contained defamatory words against him.

He claimed that the words implied that he had abused his power to obtain wealth from a questionable source for his personal interest and that of his family members.

The article, he said, also meant that he was involved in money laundering and had benefited from property investments in the United States. Najib contended that Taufek had failed to practise responsible journalism by taking steps to verify the truth of the article.

Besides an apology as well as damages, he is applying for an injunction to restrain the defendants from further discussing or publishing the article.

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