KUALA LUMPUR: Online news publisher Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd has been ordered to file its statement of defence over a libel suit brought by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak against it.
The case is set to be heard before High Court Judicial Commissioner Kamaludin Md Said.
Deputy registrar Norfauzani Mohd Nordin directed Mkini Dotcom and two of its editors named as defendants in the suit to file their defence statement by July 1.
Speaking to reporters, Najib’s lawyer Wan Azmir Wan Majid said his client had been directed to reply to the defence statement by July 15.
His co-counsel Nor Hazira Abu Haiyan said the matter was fixed for case management on July 24.
Mkini’s lawyer Ashok Kandiah confirmed the details after the parties met the deputy registrar in chambers yesterday.
“We are taking instructions on whether to apply to strike out the suit and security for costs in this matter,” he added.
In the suit filed last month, Umno is also named as co-plaintiff, which is represented by its public officer Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh.
Mkini Dotcom, its editor-in-chief Steven Gan and its chief editor Fathi Aris Omar are the defendants.
The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants had allowed the publication of two alleged defamatory articles in the Yoursay column of the web portal www.malaysiakini.com on May 14.
In the statement of claim, Ab Rauf said the words in the articles had insinuated that the political party was incompetent, racist, had no integrity, and did not give priority to the welfare of the people.
Najib said the articles had implied that he was an immoral politician, not credible and incompetent as the party president and prime minister.
The plaintiffs said the comments were unfounded and allegations made in bad faith.
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