The Court of Appeal today allowed Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua to reinstate two paragraphs and exhibits in his affidavit to strike out Prime Minister Najib Razak’s defamation suit over 1MDB.
“There is merit in the appellant’s (Pua) case. We allow the appeal,” said Justice Rohana Yusof, who led a three-man bench.
Pua’s lawyer Aliff Benjamin Suhaimi told reporters the reinstatement of the paragraphs would set the stage for the High Court to hear his client’s bid to strike out Najib’s suit.
Pua has taken the position that Najib cannot sue him in his capacity as a public officer.
“We will return to the High Court on Dec 1 (Thursday) to inform the judge and hopefully the striking-out motion could be heard early next year.”
Mohd Hafarizam Harun, representing Najib, said he would get instructions from his client whether to appeal today’s decision to the Federal Court.
However, he was confident the effect of today’s ruling would not change the basis for the striking-out motion by Pua as to whether Najib had the capacity to sue (locus standi).
On May 5, judicial commissioner Roslan Abu Bakar had expunged parts of Pua’s affidavit and exhibits as they were considered hearsay.
The two paragraphs were related to a Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) search on state investment firm 1MDB and also several articles sourced online regarding the company which did not reveal the proper source of information.
Najib filed the suit against Pua and Mediarakyat.net owner Chan Chee Kong on March 5 last year over comments made by the MP during a DAP fund-raising dinner, which was then uploaded on Mediarakyat.
The prime minister 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 on grounds of locus standi and Najib applied to remove two paragraphs and exhibits in his affidavit.
Source : V Anbalagan@FMT Reporters Online