KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today advised parties in a defamation suit filed by Prime Minister Najib Razak and Umno secretary-general Ab Rauf Yusoh against Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd (Mkini) and two of its editors to settle the case out of court.
Lawyer Hafarizam Harun, representing Najib and Rauf, said High Court judge Kamaludin Md Said made the suggestion for an out-of-court settlement as the case had been going on for three years since its filing.
Proceedings of the case was held in chambers today.
“(So), we wait for Mkini if there is going to be an out of court settlement,” he told reporters after the proceeding.
He said the court also set Sept 19 for further case management pending a decision by the Federal Court on the issue of whether a civil servant could file a suit in his personal capacity.
“The High Court decides that it is apt to wait for the disposal of an appeal leave in the case of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng against Utusan, NSTP and a few others at the Federal Court before fixing the date to hear the application by the defendants (MKini Dotcom and two editors) to strike out the suit by Najib and Rauf,” he said.
Najib, who filed the suit in his personal capacity, and Rauf named Mkini Dotcom, Malaysiakini.com editor-in-chief Steven Gan and chief editor Fathi Aris Omar as the first, second and third defendants, respectively.
In their statement of claim, Najib and Rauf claimed that the three defendants had reported, produced and allowed to be published two articles entitled “A case of the PM reaping what he sows” and “How much will Najib spend to keep Terengganu?”
They claimed that the articles were carried on May 14, 2014.
Najib and Rauf also claimed that the articles damaged their reputation and implied that Umno was incompetent as a political party and the backbone of the Barisan Nasional.