PUTRAJAYA: A suit filed by PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad against former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail for misfeasance in public office is very likely to go on trial next month.
This follows today’s Court of Appeal decision by a three-man bench to dismiss the appeal by Gani and the government to strike out Nik Nazmi’s suit.
“We dismiss the appeal but with no order to costs,” bench chairman Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid said of the unanimous ruling.
Nik Nazmi’s lawyer Syahredzan Johan later told reporters the High Court had fixed a two-day trial from Oct 16.
Gani and the government have one more chance: to appear in the Federal Court, but they have to first file a leave to appeal application.
On May 17, the High Court had dismissed the striking out application.
Justice Ahmad Zahidi Ibrahim had ruled that this was not a plain and obvious case to allow for the striking out.
The judge said there were triable issues and witnesses needed to be called.
Nik Nazmi, who is a Selangor state executive councillor, would be the only witness in his action while Gani and the government have lined up two witnesses.
Gani, in his application, had pleaded that the suit should be struck out as the politician had earlier pleaded guilty to a criminal offence.
Gani said Nik Nazmi was fined RM1,500 last year for organising the Black 505 rally in 2013.
On Dec 8 last year, Nik Nazmi, in a surprise turn of events, decided to plead guilty in the Shah Alam High Court to organising the mammoth gathering in protest against the May 5, 2013, general election outcome.
He committed the offence by failing to give the mandatory 10-day notice to police under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 regarding the gathering at Stadium Kelana Jaya on May 8, 2013.
Nik Nazmi was first charged with the offence in May 2013 in the Sessions Court but the Court of Appeal acquitted him in April the following year on grounds that the section that provided for a maximum RM10,000 fine was unconstitutional.
He was again charged in the lower court with the same offence in May 2014 but the High Court threw out the government’s appeal as it was bound by the Court of Appeal ruling.
The prosecution in 2015 charged Nik Nazmi for the third time for organising the rally and he pleaded guilty to the offence.
On March 31, 2015, Nik Nazmi filed the suit, alleging that he had been the victim of malicious prosecution.
Gani, in his defence, said his act was purely an exercise of discretion vested in him by law and not done in bad faith.
He said there must be a charge hanging over Nik Nazmi because the government had appealed against the Court of Appeal decision to the Federal Court.
“He was charged to preserve the integrity of the appeal in the Federal Court.” he said.
The government finally withdrew the appeal in the Federal Court.