KUALA LUMPUR: The Wall Street Journal article was not clear on whether Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was accused of taking funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), said counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun (pic).
Mohd Hafarizam, whose law firm is acting for the Prime Minister, said the article was "neither here or there".
"The article is not clear on whether they are alleging that the money is from 1MDB or not.
"Why we sent a letter of clarification is because we want the WSJ to tell us what their position is.
"Once that position has been taken, then it is easier for me to advise my client.
"Otherwise I will be bordering on conjecture. I would have to assume that they meant 1MDB or assume that they did not mean 1MDB.
"It would be rather difficult for me as a plaintiff to advise my client if I am not sure what their position is," he told reporters on Monday.
Mohd Hafarizam said he had advised Najib that the WSJ article was unclear.
"Yes, my law firm can say whether the article is defamatory or not - but if I wrongly give advice, then I am also subject to professional negligence.
"The first two paragraphs of the article seem to suggest the money was from 1MDB, but then when you look further, they mention 'the source is not known'," he added.
He said his firm would seek Najib's instructions once WSJ stated its position on the matter.
Najib's lawyers had sent a letter of clarification to WSJ for an explanation over its July 3 article implicating him of allegedly transferring 1MDB funds into his personal accounts.
In the letter, law firm Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak wants confirmation from the Dow Jones board of directors on the newspaper’s stand.
Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of the US-based newspaper, has two weeks to reply “yes” or “no”, according to a letter dated July 8 from the lawyers.
WSJ had published an article quoting an "unnamed investigator", claiming that almost US$700mil (RM2.63bil) of 1MDB funds went into the Prime Minister's personal accounts.
The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying that the articles were "political sabotage” while the 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred to Najib's accounts.
Najib has also refuted the claims, maintaining that the allegations are a political ploy engineered by his opponents in an attempt to topple him, among them former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.