KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has failed to settle his libel suit against two top officials of PAS’ news organ Harakah.
Najib’s lead counsel Mohd Hafarizam Harun said he received a letter from the defendants Thursday evening rejecting his client’s proposal to settle the suit.
“The two related appeals will now go for hearing,” he said Monday.
Najib is appealing against a High Court order which refused his application to dispose his libel suit based on point of law without going through a trial.
The Prime Minister is also appealing against the refusal of the High Court to allow him to include press statements from the Attorney-General and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission which cleared him of criminal wrongdoing relating to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.
Najib had sought to include those statements in his libel suit against Harakah managing director and writer Dr Rosli Yaakop and Harakahdaily portal editor-in-chief Taufek Yahya.
Hafarizam said the matter has been rescheduled for Dec 1 for case management before Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif.
Wan Rohimi Wan Daud, who is acting for both defendants, confirmed the details.
“I have been instructed to convey that PAS has rejected the offer for a settlement by Najib and insists on a full trial of the matter,” said Wan Rohimi.
Among others, Wan Rohimi said the proposed settlement had included an apology and a retraction.
The Prime Minister recently succeeded to stay the proceedings of his libel suit.
Najib sued two defendants over an allegedly defamatory article published on the portal in relation to 1MDB and his stepson Riza Aziz.
Suing in his personal capacity, Najib said the article on Feb 19 last year contained defamatory words against him.
In his suit filed on March 18 last year, Najib said the offending words implied that he had abused his power to obtain wealth from a questionable source.
Najib is seeking an apology, damages and an injunction to prevent the defendants from further discussing or publishing the defamatory article either orally, in print or on the Internet.
The Attorney-General had on Jan 26 found that no criminal offence was committed by Najib in relation to SRC International Sdn Bhd and the alleged RM2.6bil donation.
MACC issued a statement on Aug 3 last year that the RM2.6bil deposited into the personal account of the Prime Minister came from donors and not from 1MDB.