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26 JAN 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today proposed that a suit filed by Damansara MP Tony Pua Kiam Wee against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak four years ago, for alleged misfeasance in public office in relation to 1MDB funds be settled amicably.

Lawyer Tan Cheng Leong, who represented Pua, said Judge Datuk Rozana Ali Yusof had asked the parties involved to find a solution to the case.

“The court asked the parties to consider whether to resolve the case amicably or refer the case to the High Court Mediation Centre,” he said, adding that the parties need to obtain instructions from their clients first regarding the court’s proposal.

Tan said this when contacted by reporters after case management before Judge Rozana via email today, on the latest status of criminal cases faced by Najib involving 1MDB which is currently on trial stage at the Criminal High Court here.

Lawyer Nor Hazira Abu Haiyan, who represented Najib, confirmed the matter and said that Feb 25 has been set for further case management.

On Jan 6 last year, the court allowed Najib’s application for a stay of the civil suit proceedings pending the disposal of the criminal case related to 1MDB.

In the 1MDB trial which will continue on Feb 8, the team of lawyers will continue to cross-examine the 10th prosecution witness, former 1MDB chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, 47.

Pua sued Najib and the government on Jan 16, 2017 for alleged misfeasance in public office over the 1MDB case and sought general, aggravated and exemplary damages, interest, costs and other relief as deemed fit by the court.

He claimed that Najib was a public servant because he was the Pekan MP, the prime minister then and chairman of the 1MDB board of advisors, and in that capacity, he had both direct and indirect roles in the decisions and direction of 1MDB.

The High Court had dismissed Pua's suit on the grounds that Najib was not an officer in public office and hence could not be indicted for alleged misfeasance in public office. Pua also lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal in July 2018 when it upheld the High Court's decision.

However, he obtained permission to appeal to the Federal Court.

On Nov 19, 2019, the Federal Court ruled that Najib during his term as prime minister was a public servant and could be sued for alleged misfeasance in public office.

The court also decided that Pua can proceed with his claim against Najib and the government of Malaysia by way of trial in a civil court. -Bernama


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