PUTRAJAYA – The Federal Court today adjourned the appeal hearing by Damansara Member of Parliament Tony Pua Kiam Wee (picture) against an interim injunction order over his alleged video clip relating to the tabling of Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 or RUU355.
“We adjourned the hearing of the appeal pending disposal of (Pua’s) appeal at the appellate court,” said Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.
Pua’s appeal at the appellate court is in relation to a High Court decision to allow former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to withdraw his defamation lawsuit on the video clip which he filed against Pua.
Justice Ahmad who led a seven-man bench set April 5 for case management on the appeal.
The other judges presiding were Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin, Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan.
Najib’s lawyer Datuk Wira Mohd Hafarizam Harun raised a preliminary objection saying that the appeal had become academic since his client (Najib) had filed a discontinuance of his main civil action against Pua in July last year.
Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar representing Pua countered by saying the appeal should be heard by the Federal Court as it was of public interest.
He said in the judgment of the appellate court, it was stated that the court ought to take judicial notice that the former Attorney-General Mohamed Tan Sri Apandi Ali had made a decision that Najib had done nothing wrong in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue.
Alternatively, Both Hafarizam and Malik Imtiaz requested the court to adjourn the hearing of the appeal pending disposal of Pua’s appeal at the appellate court.
Najib sued Pua in his personal capacity, alleging that the latter had made defamatory statements against him on a live video relating to the tabling of the RUU355.
He claimed that the video clip uploaded by Pua or his agents on his official Facebook site, lasting two minutes and 21 seconds, titled ‘BN Govt abandons all Bills to give precedence to PAS RUU355 Private Member’s Bill’ could be accessed widely and freely on the Internet.
On Aug 4, 2017, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted Najib the interim injunction to prevent Pua, who is now political secretary to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, from continuing to make statements and air the video clip.
On Feb 14, last year, Pua failed in his appeal at the Court of Appeal to lift the interim injunction order, prompting him to file leave to appeal at the Federal Court.
On June 20 last year, the Federal Court granted him leave to appeal.
On July 30, last year, the High Court allowed the former prime minister to withdraw his suit against Pua despite the latter’s (Pua) objection who subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Pua’s appeal against the High Court’s decision in allowing Najib to withdraw his suit against him (Pua) is scheduled to be heard by the Court of Appeal on April 4.