KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has advised parties in a libel suit filed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak against Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd and two of its editors to go for an out-of-court settlement.
Najib's lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun told reporters after meeting High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Kamaludin Md Said in chambers, that the judge suggested the parties settle the suit as it has been three years since it was filed.
Mohd Hafarizam said his team was waiting for Mkini Dotcom for any suggestions.
He also said the court set Sept 19 for the next case management.
Also named as co-plaintiff in the suit filed on May 30, 2014, was Umno's public officer Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh.
They named Mkini Dotcom, editor-in-chief Steven Gan and chief editor Fathi Aris Omar as the defendants.
Najib is suing in his personal capacity.
The plaintiffs claim that the defendants had allowed the publication of two allegedly defamatory articles in the "Yoursay" column of the web portal www.malaysiakini.com on May 14, 2014.
In the statement of claim, Ab Rauf said that among others, the words in the articles had insinuated that the political party was incompetent, had no integrity, was racist, and did not give priority to the welfare of the people.
Najib said the articles had implied that he was an immoral politician, and not credible and incompetent as the party president and Prime Minister.
They said they sent a notice of demand to the defendants on May 15, 2014 through their solicitors seeking an unconditional apology, the retraction of the articles, and an undertaking not to publish similar defamatory words as well as damages for loss of reputation.
However, the defendants had replied on May 16 that it was fair comment over a matter of public interest and had offered the plaintiffs the right to reply.
They said the defendants had also published another article titled "Najib threatens to sue Mkini over readers' comments on May 16".
They said the defendants had compiled the comments on the articles and published another article on May 17, which showed their intention to continuously defame them.
Apart from damages, they are seeking an apology to be published in a newspaper or magazine to be identified by them, on their terms.
They are also applying for an injunction to restrain the defendants or their agents from publishing similar defamatory articles against them in the print media or on the Internet.