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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Court bars media from covering Najib's bid to set aside Pua's suit

The media has been barred from covering the hearing of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's application to strike out a suit related to 1MDB filed by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.
Pointing to the presence of reporters, Najib's lawyer Cecil Abraham reminded the court that the matter was fixed to be held in chambers, and as such, the public gallery should be emptied.
However, Pua's lawyer Gobind Singh Deo replied that the matter is of public interest and the press should be allowed to report the proceeding.
Judicial commissioner Faizah Jamaludin said since the matter is of public interest, she was concerned that it would be misconstrued and misreported by the media.
"So please leave and empty the public gallery. I would love to have the matter be heard in my chambers but there is not enough space," she added.
Lawyers Rishwant Singh and Nik Alia Hanafi appeared with Cecil, while Joanne Chua was with Gobind.

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke appeared for the government.
Pua filed the suit of misfeasance in public office against Najib earlier this year following the alleged abuses in 1MDB, and as a taxpayer he was concerned over having to pay for such bad decisions made by the government.
This was the third suit filed by politicians against Najib in relation to 1MDB.
It was reported that the KL High Court had on April 28 struck out a suit filed by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Anina Saadudin on the grounds that Najib was not a public officer but a member of an administration.
The matter is now fixed for hearing at the Court of Appeal on Aug 30.
The other suit against Najib was filed by former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim.
[More to follow]

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