KUALA LUMPURL The High Court here today postponed to July 23 to hear an application by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to strike out two paragraphs in the defence statement by Harakah and Harakahdaily to a defamation suit which he filed against them.
Judge Datuk Hue Siew Kheng set the date in chambers in the presence of counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, Datuk Abu Bakar As-Sidek, Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin and Nor Emilia Iszeham, representing Najib, and lawyer Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, for Harakah and Harakahdaily.
Mohd Hafarizam, when met by reporters, said application had been fixed to be heard today, but was postponed after Harakah managing director Dr Rosli Yaakob (named as first defendant) requested for time to study documents on the matter which was obtained last Friday.
Najib was applying to strike the paragraphs on fair comment and qualified privilege in the defence statement.
In the suit filed on March 18 this year, Najib named Dr Rosli Yaakob and the chief editor of Harakahdaily, Taufek Yahya, as the defendants.
It concerned the publication of an article written by Rosli on Feb 19 on the 1MDB fund issue. According to the statement of claim, Najib said the article contained words which implied that he had misused the 1MDB funds.
As such, he said, the publication of the article had damaged his reputation and caused him to be condemned by the social media and the mass media.
Najib also claimed that Taufek had failed to practise responsible journalism by not verifying the authenticity of the article before publishing it.
The prime minister alleged that the defendants had intentionally published the article for their own agenda, to destroy the peopleâ€™s confidence and trust in him.
He is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages, interests and an injunction to prevent the defendants or their assistants from further publishing the article. —BERNAMA