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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Court wants Najib, Malaysiakini to explore settlement of 2014 suit



The Kuala Lumpur High Court has proposed to Umno president Najib Abdul Razak, party organising secretary Abdul Rauf Yusoh and Malaysiakini to explore the possibility of settlement of a 2014 defamation suit.
Lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun, who is acting for Najib and Raus, said Justice Kamaludin Md Said made the proposal today to all parties.
"As such, the offer is up to Malaysiakini to resolve," he told reporters after attending the case management of the matter.
Najib and Rauf filed the defamation suit against Malaysiakini's publisher Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd, editor-in-chief Steven Gan and then chief editor Fathi Aris Omar, over readers' comments published on the news portal on May 14, 2014 over the Terengganu imbroglio.
On Malaysiakini's striking-out application of the suit filed by Najib and Rauf, Hafarizam said the court has fixed Sept 19 for further case management.
This is pending a decision by the Federal Court on the Lim Guan Eng's appeal in his suit against Perkasa's Ruslan Kassim, New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and Utusan Melayu Sdn Bhd.
In this case, the High Court had awarded the Penang chief minister RM550,000 in damages.
However, in December 2016 the Court of Appeal ruled that Lim cannot sue the media for defamation in his official capacity.
The appellate court said it was bound by its earlier decision in the case of Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd vs Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob, that public officials could not sue the media for defamation in their official capacity.

Lim's appeal is being closely watched because several decisions are pending in the ongoing suits filed by Najib against several individuals.
Former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik applied to strike out Najib's suit on the same grounds - that Najib seemed to be suing in his official capacity - but the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, which had already heard submissions on the matter, did not want to make a ruling on this, pending the decision in the Penang CM's appeal.
Lim's case has also been used to postpone several ongoing suits by Najib, including the one against PAS journal Harakah, which published a report on 1MDB and his stepson, Riza Aziz, based on a New York Times article.- Mkini

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