PUTRAJAYA - Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir has failed in his appeal to seek leave to cite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for contempt over allegedly making statements on an ongoing defamation suit.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed Mukhriz’s appeal to set aside the High Court’s dismissal of his application for leave to cite Najib for contempt.
Chairing a three-member bench, Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said they agreed with the High Court judge Justice Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim that Mukhriz had not made a prima facie case against Najib.
Justice Tengku Maimun said the panel found that the trial judge had not erred in his decision.
“Hence, the trial judge could not be faulted in directing the matter to be heard as an opposed ex parte.”
She dismissed the appeal with a RM10,000 cost. The other judges on the panel were Justices Abdul Rahman Sebli and Hasnah Mohammed Hashim.
Mukhriz had appealed against Justice Ahmad Zaidi’s decision on July 27 last year, who dismissed his application for leave on the grounds that he failed to prove a prima facie case against the Prime Minister’s statement in his blog.
Mukhriz claimed that the statement allegedly referred to a suit filed by Mukhriz against Najib’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sarifuddin Tengku Ahmad.
Earlier, Najib’s counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun submitted that the statement in the blog was not meant for Mukhriz but for his father, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Mohd Hafarizam said Justice Ahmad Zaidi had directed correctly based on case law that there was no prima facie case for contempt.
Meanwhile, Mukhriz’s counsel Mohammed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said an application for leave to initiate contempt should be made on an ex parte basis and Najib’s counsel should not be allowed to submit at the hearing of the ex parte application.
Haniff told reporters after the proceedings that he would seek his client’s direction and they would most likely appeal to the Federal Court.