Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor's defence statements have described the suit filed by A Santamil Selvi and her children for injury and loss of income during their exile to India for five years as a sham and a suit made without basis.
They described Santamil’s claims of her late husband being instructed to retract his statutory declaration, which implicates Najib in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, as having no basis, and designed to embarrass them.
“All the allegations contained in the statement of claim are severely denied.
“The claim discloses no cause of action let alone a reasonable cause of action,” Najib and Rosmah said in their statement of defence, which was sighted by Malaysiakini.
As such, they applied to strike out the lawsuit.
“Paragraph 12, 13, 14, 15 of the statement of claim is not within our knowledge and are accordingly, not admitted and denied,” they added.
Those paragraphs relate to Balasubramaniam’s first statutory declaration and his subsequent retraction in the second declaration.
In their striking out application, they raised the matter of an earlier suit that was filed by Santamil and her family, which was later struck out.
They also noted that they would raise issues of estoppel (which precludes a person from asserting something contrary to what is implied by a previous action or statement) and res judicata (a matter already adjudicated upon by a court, and which may not be pursued further by the same parties).
This is the first time Najib and Rosmah have been required to file their defence in a lawsuit filed against them.
Last month, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng denied a stay application from the nine defendants in the case pending a striking out application, and ordered them to file their defence.
It was reported earlier today that eight of the defendants – Najib, Rosmah, Najib's siblings Ahmad Johari and Nazim, lawyers Cecil Abraham, Sunil Abraham and M Arulampalam, and commissioner of oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat – had filed their defence.
Only the defence of carpet businessperson Deepak Jaikishian had not been filed.
Ahmad Johari, in his defence sighted by Malaysiakini, denied playing any role in Balasubramaniam's retraction, when he denied six paragraphs in Santamil’s statement of claim.
He further denied the widow's claim for injury and loss suffered due to her purported exile, and also noted that since this claim should be time-barred, since it was made nine years after the event.
Nazim, an architect, who is alleged to have met Balasubramaniam to force a retraction of the first statutory declaration, also denied the version of events put forth by investigator’s widow.
“I knew about Balasubramaniam's (first) statutory declaration, and on July 4, 2008 (the next day) the retraction, but have no knowledge of other claims made in the statement of claim,” he said.
Nazim added in his defence that the plaintiff's claims are invalid due to the principles of estoppel and res judicata, as the same claims in Santamil’s previous lawsuit were struck out.