KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has filed an appeal against the High Court’s dismissal on a gag order to prevent the media from discussing the merits of his criminal case.
Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah confirmed in a text message that a notice of appeal was filed at the Court of Appeal on Monday afternoon.
A notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days of the court's decision.
Last Friday (Aug 10), High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali dismissed Najib’s application for the gag order.
In his decision, Mohd Nazlan said a gag order would be an extension of existing contempt and defamation laws.
Those who overstep in their reporting risk action being taken, such as contempt of court, and these remedies were readily available, he said.
The court deemed the application unsustainable and dismissed the application.
On July 4, Justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak, who earlier presided over the case, granted an interim gag order.
Muhammad Shafee made the request on the grounds that his client had been facing a trial by media since he was ousted as prime minister after the 14th general election.
Najib claimed trial on July 4 to a charge of using his position as the prime minister and finance minister to receive a RM42mil gratification when he was involved in the Government’s decision in providing a guarantee for a RM4bil loan from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He also claimed trial to three counts of criminal breach of trust under Section 409 of the Penal Code.
On Aug 8, Najib was slapped with another three counts of money laundering amounting to RM42mil that was linked to SRC International.