PUTRAJAYA, Dec 1 — The Court of Appeal has set March 7, next year to hear Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s two appeals relating to his defamation lawsuit against PAS mouthpiece, Harakahdaily on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The hearing date of the appeals was fixed by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif who presided over the case management on the matter in chambers today.
The appeals are on the High Court’s dismissal on April 7 this year of Najib’s application to amend his statement of claim to include statements by Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
The other appeal was against the High Court’s dismissal on May 23 this year of Najib’s application for the suit to be decided on points of law without going for full trial.
Lawyer Wan Rohimi Wan Daud representing Harakah managing director Dr Rosli Yaakob and Harakahdaily chief editor Taufek Yahya who are being sued by the prime minister, said in the case management, he had informed Md Raus they were not settling the defamation lawsuit and wanted the matter to proceed for trial.
In July this year, Najib submitted his proposal containing the terms of an out-of-court settlement of the defamation lawsuit.
Lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun representing Najib, who was also present at the case management, told reporters he had also extended the settlement proposal to PAS until March 7, as the prime minister was magnanimous to settle with PAS.
He said as Najib would also be on the same stage on Sunday with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang on the Rohingya cause, he hoped PAS’ top leaders would reciprocate as anything could happen before March 7.
He added Najib was prepared to come to court to testify in all his civil suits but at the moment, he had to clear the interlocutory matters.
The prime minister sued Rosli and Taufek over an alleged defamatory article written by Rosli and published on February 19, 2015, claiming the article portrayed him as having misused 1MDB funds and that the publication of the article was intended to tarnish his reputation.
He also alleged that Taufek failed to practise responsible journalism and did not verify whether the contents in Rosli’s article were accurate before publishing it. — Bernama