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Najib open to settle suit against Pua out of court
Published on: Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is open to settling out of court, his defamation suit against Petaling Jaya Utara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee.

The case pertained to a live video relating to the tabling of a Private Member's Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or RUU355.

"My client is open to any settlement but it has to be worth the offer because this is a defamation suit and in the course of looking into the facts that could and could not be agreed on, parties might want to explore a settlement," Najib's lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun said.

He said High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab had directed both parties to do more analysis of the pleadings, statements of claim and defence to find facts that could be agreed or could not be agreed on.

"The reason why the judge wants us to do this is because he wants us to cut short the trial from prolonging too long," he told reporters after the case management in chambers Wednesday.

He said the judge also asked lawyers for both parties to literally sit down and not just through fax or email to see if both parties could agree on the facts or agree on settlement.

Mohd Hafarizam said the court fixed Oct 13 for further case management.

On April 21, Najib sued Pua in his personal capacity claiming that the defendant on April 6 at the Parliament Building lobby made a defamatory statement against him on live video relating to the tabling of RUU355.

In his statement of claim, the Prime Minister claimed that the video clip uploaded by Pua or his agents on the defendant's official Facebook site, lasting two minutes and 21 seconds and entitled "BN Govt abandons all Bills to give precedence to PAS RUU355 Private Member's Bill," could be accessed widely and freely on the internet.

Najib also claimed the live video contained words referring specifically to him and carried the meaning that he abused his power by giving orders through the Cabinet to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to give way to the Member of Parliament from Marang to table his private bill and set aside other bills.

On Aug 4, Najib obtained an interim injunction to restrain Pua from posting any defamatory statement or video clip against him.

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