Najib gets stay in lawsuit over account deposits

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's High Court yesterday granted Prime Minister Najib Razak and three other parties a stay of proceedings in a lawsuit brought by the opposition over the RM2.6 billion(S$855 million) deposited into the Premier's personal accounts.

The court's decision came as Datuk Seri Najib's lawyer reasserted yesterday that the Prime Minister will be answering questions concerning the donation during the current Parliament sitting.

The opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat is suing Mr Najib, Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, 1Malaysia Development Berhad and the Election Commission over an alleged breach of election laws, following an expose of the deposit earlier this year by The Wall Street Journal.

The Premier has said that the amount was made up of political donations and denied taking money for personal gain.

High Court judicial commissioner Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab granted the stay-of-proceedings application by Mr Najib and Tengku Adnan after hearing submissions from the parties yesterday.

The judge said that there were special circumstances to grant the application pending the parties' application to strike out the suit, the Malay Mail Online reported.

"All the proceedings should be stayed pending the striking out of the application," he said in court.

The High Court yesterday also set Nov 11 for the final case management.

Mr Najib's lawyer, Datuk Hafarizam Harun, had requested that Nov 4 be set as the date for the case management, but the plaintiffs had sought a later date, a request which the judge allowed.

"I have asked in court for an early date for case management and also for the hearing to strike out the application as the PM wanted to answer the issue of the RM2.6 billion," Datuk Hafarizam was quoted telling reporters after the proceedings, the Malaysiakini website reported.

"I don't want the answer in Parliament or in court to have a bearing on the hearing here or vice versa. Whatever is raised in court regarding the RM2.6 billion should not be raised in Parliament," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2015, with the headline 'Najib gets stay in lawsuit over account deposits'. Print Edition | Subscribe