Court will hear Pua’s bid to strike out Najib suit on April 3

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KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court will hear on April 3 an application by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua to strike out Prime Minister Najib Razak’s defamation suit over remarks the DAP lawmaker had allegedly made on the 1MDB issue.

Pua’s lawyer Aliff Benjamin Suhaimi said judicial commissioner Roslan Abu Bakar has also fixed three days from Sept 18 to hear the merits of the suit.

“Our case is that as a public official, Najib has no locus to bring the suit against our client on a public interest issue,” Benjamin told reporters after the case management before the judge in chambers.

Lawyer Nor Azira Abu Haiyan appeared for Najib.

The prime minister filed the suit against Pua and Mediarakyat.net owner Chan Chee Kong on March 5, 2015 over comments made by the MP during a DAP fund-raising dinner, which was then uploaded on Mediarakyat.

Najib alleged that Pua’s speech meant he had robbed the people of their money with regard to 1MDB transactions and he cannot be trusted and was allegedly not qualified to hold public office.

Pua then filed an application to strike out the suit.

Meanwhile in another High Court, Justice Hanipah Farikullah has fixed May 26 to hear a judicial review application filed by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member Zahid Md Arip to declassify the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB.

She also fixed May 30 to hear a similar suit filed by Selangor Menteri Besar and Gombak MP Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Zahid had filed the application against Najib and Auditor-General (A-G) Ambrin Buang, citing both could not hide behind the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in refusing to make public the A-G’s report.

“Classifying it under OSA is a breach of the law,” he said in the application for the judicial review.

Azmin, in his judicial review application, cited Ambrin’s testimony during Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli’s trial under the OSA that he, as the A-G, had done it on the instructions of Najib.

Azmin, however, said there was a conflict of interest on Najib’s part due to the latter’s role at that time as 1MDB adviser.