KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 21 – The High Court here today set Aug 25 for case management of a defamation suit over oil subsidy filed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, against Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli and an online news portal owner.
Judicial Commissioner Rohani Ismail set the date in chambers in the presence of lawyers Nor Emelia Iszeham, who represented Najib and Rosmah; Ng Siau Sun, for Mohd Rafiz, and Joanne Leong who represented the ‘Media Rakyat’ news portal owner Chan Chee Kong.
Leong told reporters that Rohani fixed the date to inform parties involved on the progress of an appeal application by Mohd Rafizi and Chan against a Court of Appeal’s decision in striking out their defence of fair comment in the suit. Yesterday, the Federal Court allowed an application for leave by Mohd Rafizi and Chan to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision.
However, no date was fixed to hear the appeal. On Nov 29 last year, the Court of Appeal allowed an application by Najib and Rosmah to strike out the defence of fair comment by Mohd Rafizi and Chan. Najib and Rosmah filed the suit on April 16, 2015, claiming that Mohd Rafizi, who is also Pandan member of Parliament, had made disparaging statement against them at a forum on oil subsidy in Bandar Tun Razak on Nov 22, 2014.
The couple also claimed that Mohd Rafizi’s speech was recorded by Media Rakyat and uploaded by Chan or his assistant on Media Rakyat’s YouTube and portal. Najib and Rosmah further alleged that Chan had also shared the recording in Media Rakyat’s Facebook account which could be freely accessed by Internet users worldwide. The couple is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages deemed fit by the court, interest and costs. — Bernama