KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court has dismissed an application by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) and his wife to strike out a defence of fair comment by PKR vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli and an online news portal owner over their defamation suit in relation to the issue of oil subsidies' removal.
On Friday, High Court judge Justice Noraini Abdul Rahman decided to hear merits of the suit in a trial.
The couple's lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun confirmed the decision, adding that he would meet Najib whether to appeal against the ruling.
They wanted to strike out the defence of fair comment on grounds that the disputed words were "statement of facts and not statement of comments".
In their suit, Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said Mohd Rafizi had delivered a slanderous speech against them at a forum in Bandar Tun Razak on Nov 22, 2014 on issues relating to oil subsidies.
Najib said Mohd Rafizi had uttered offending words in respect of his office. Rosmah said his words implied that she had committed a criminal act.
They said the recording of the speech had been uploaded by Media Rakyat's owner Chan Chee Kong onto YouTube, Media Rakyat's webpage and its Facebook page.
In the suit filed in April last year, Najib said the statement meant he had unlawfully stolen the people's money in connection with the removal of oil subsidies for his personal gain.
In the statement of claim, the couple are seeking from Mohd Rafizi general, aggravated and exemplary damages for slander and libel.
The plaintiffs are also seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages from Chan for libel.
The couple also want Chan to remove the recording from YouTube, Media Rakyat's webpage and Facebook page with immediate effect from the date of judgment.
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