Apex court rejects Tony Pua’s leave to appeal against Najib’s suit withdrawal

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Damansara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee has failed to obtain leave from the Federal Court to appeal against the appellate court’s decision to uphold the withdrawal of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defamation suit against him.

The suit is related to the tabling of the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill or RUU355.

A three-member bench led by Federal Court Judge Datuk P. Nallini when dismissing Pua’s application ruled that it did not meet the requirements under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (CJA) which deals with the conditions of appeal.

“The crux of the submission by Pua’s counsel, Datuk Malik Imtiaz that his client had suffered prejudice because the High Court had granted an injunction against him and then the former prime minister suddenly decided to withdraw the suit.

“Therefore, the leave application by the appellant (Pua) is dismissed,” said Justice Nallini, who presided with Justice Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang.

The court then ordered Pua to pay Najib RM20,000 in costs.

Pua is seeking leave to appeal against the Oct 15, 2019, decision of the Court of Appeal which partly allowed his appeal.

The three-member Court of Appeal bench led by Justice Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer had allowed Pua to receive damages after the High Court in 2018 granted Najib’s application to withdraw his defamation suit against him (Pua) over the tabling of the RUU355.

The appellate court also ordered the case to go back to the High Court for the assessment of damages and also set aside the injunction obtained by Najib in his suit.

The Court of Appeal, however, upheld the High Court’s decision which allowed Najib to withdraw his suit against Pua.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 30, 2018, allowed Najib to withdraw his suit against Pua despite the latter’s objection.

Najib sued Pua in his personal capacity, alleging that the latter had made defamatory statements against him in a two-minute and 21-second live video which was uploaded onto his official Facebook page.

Following the suit, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had on Aug 4, 2017, granted Najib an injunction to prevent Pua from continuing to make similar statements and air the video clip.

Pua failed in his appeal at the Court of Appeal on Feb 14, 2018, to lift the injunction order granted by the High Court to Najib.

Pua obtained leave from the Federal Court on June 20, 2018, to appeal pertaining to the injunction order.


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