PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan have failed to obtain leave to appeal their tort of misfeasance in public office lawsuit against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pertaining to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The 92-year-old former prime minister and the 55-year-old former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief had sought leave to appeal after their suit against Najib was struck out by the High Court and the subsequent decision upheld by the Court of Appeal.
The three-man Federal Court bench comprising Chief Judge Tun Md Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Datuk Sri Balia Yusof Wahi and Tan Sri Wira Aziah Ali unanimously dismissed their appeal and ordered them to pay RM20,000 in costs.
In his decision Tuesday (Feb 27), Justice Md Raus, who chaired the bench, said the Federal Court agreed with the interpretation made by the High Court and Court of Appeal that Najib was not a public officer.
He said the matter involved the interpretation of the Federal Constitution and statutes on the meaning of "public officer".
"Thus, this is not a fit and proper case for leave to appeal to be granted under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964," he said, adding that the court was of the view that the applicants, Dr Mahathir and Khairuddin, did not fulfil the requirements of Section 96.
Parties in civil cases must first obtain leave before they can pursue their appeal at the Federal Court.
Meanwhile, Justice Md Raus set April 16 to hear lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla's application to discharge himself from representing former Langkawi Wanita Umno member Anina Saadudin, 43.
Mohamed Haniff had sought to postpone the hearing, saying that he was unable to serve the application (to discharge himself from representing Anina) to her.
Justice Md Raus, however, rejected Mohamed Haniff's application to postpone the hearing and another to recuse him from hearing the matter.
Dr Mahathir, Khairuddin and Anina sued Najib on March 23, 2016, accusing the Prime Minister of committing misfeasance in public office and acting in breach of his fiduciary duty over the management of sovereign investment fund 1MDB.
On April 28 last year, the High Court allowed Najib's application to strike out the suit, ruling that the Prime Minister was not a public officer but a member of the administration.
On Aug 30, last year, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal brought by Dr Mahathir, Khairuddin and Anina, prompting them to file an application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court.
During the proceedings, Mohamed Haniff submitted that there were constitutional questions involving the High Court and Court of Appeal's interpretation in applying the Federal Constitution to interpret "public service".
However, Najib's counsel Tan Sri Cecil Abraham submitted that leave to appeal should not be granted because the law was settled on the issues raised by the applicants' counsel.
He added that the applicants' appeal would not have the prospect of success if the court were to grant leave. – Bernama