KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 ― The Court of Appeal upheld today a previous court ruling that the prime minister is not a public officer and struck out a bid to sue the incumbent Datuk Seri Najib Razak for alleged power abuse.
In its unanimous decision, a three-judge panel chaired by Tan Sri Idrus Harun said it agreed with the High Court’s April 28 ruling to dismiss a suit by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two other former Umno members: Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Anina Saadudin against Najib, news portal Malaysiakini reported.
The High Court had said that a member of the administration cannot be considered a public official even though he holds public office.
“We agree with the learned judge’s decision. There is no merit in the appeal. We affirm the decision of the High Court,” Idrus was quoted saying.
According to the report, the two other judges on the Court of Appeal panel were Datuk Vernon Ong and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli.
Dr Mahathir ― now chairman of the Pakatan Harapan Opposition pact ― as well as Khairuddin and Anina had filed a lawsuit last year accusing Najib of committing misfeasance in public office and acting in breach of his fiduciary duty over the management of sovereign investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who represented the three applicants, was reported saying his clients will appeal today’s decision with the Federal Court.