Wall Street Journal yet to respond to Najib's letter, says lawyer

Najib's lawyer Wan Azmir Wan Majid said they had yet to receive any feedback to the letter sent to WSJ publisher Dow Jones.
Najib's lawyer Wan Azmir Wan Majid said they had yet to receive any feedback to the letter sent to WSJ publisher Dow Jones.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The publisher of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has yet to respond to the letter of clarification by Mr Najib Razak on whether it is accusing the Prime Minister of taking funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Najib's lawyer Wan Azmir Wan Majid said they had yet to receive any feedback to the letter sent to WSJ publisher Dow Jones on July 8, for which the deadline ended on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister, he said, now had several legal options to pursue.

"This is because Dow Jones' refusal to give any reply or explanation on its allegations has to be carefully scrutinised on the legal aspects and the facts which have emerged recently," he said.

Wan Azmir said he could not reveal details at this stage, adding that he was bound by the solicitor-client privilege.

Among the options are for Najib to issue a letter of demand to WSJ or file a civil action against it.

Last week, Najib's lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun had said that his team issued the letter because the WSJ article - alleging that almost US$700 million (S$955 million) in 1MDB funds were channelled into Najib's personal accounts - was not clear on whether the money was from the investment fund.

He said it would be easier for him to advise Najib if WSJ were to clarify the allegations against his client.

"The first two paragraphs of the article seem to suggest that the money was from 1MDB but when you look further, it mentions that the source is not known," he had told reporters then.

On July 8, Najib's lawyers sent a letter of clarification to WSJ seeking an explanation over its article published early this month.

The publisher was given 14 days to make its stand over the claims in the articles published on July 2 and 6.

WSJ had published an article quoting an "unnamed investigator", claiming that almost US$700 million in 1MDB funds were channelled into Najib's personal accounts in 2013.

The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying the articles were "political sabotage" while 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred into Najib's accounts.