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Monday, August 30, 2021

Nov 8 verdict on 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against Najib, 17 others

 


The government will know on Nov 8 whether it succeeds in its 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and 17 others.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning fixed the date to deliver its decision on the lawsuit against Najib, several members of his family, and other individuals and entities.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan set the decision date following a final submission from deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffrey Ong today.

“I will need two months to come up with a written judgment. The decision is set on Nov 8,” the judge said.

On May 8, 2019, the Attorney-General’s Chambers filed the 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against Najib and the 17 others comprising individuals and companies.

The legal action is over the seizure of hundreds of items, including luxury handbags and 27 vehicles, from the 18 respondents.

In the 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit, Najib was named as the first respondent, followed by his wife Rosmah Mansor, stepson Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz (known as Riza Aziz), son Nor Ashman Razak, and daughter Nooryana Najwa as the second, third, fourth, and fifth respondents respectively.

The others are Mohd Kyizzad Mesran, Senijauhar Sdn Bhd, Aiman Ruslan, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta, Yayasan Mustika Kasih, Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd, Goh Gaik Ewe (mother of 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho or Jho Low), former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng, lawyer Lim Hwee Bin, Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact, and Geh Choh Hun.

Kee, Tan, and Geh are alleged associates of Low, who is a key figure in the 1MDB matter.

Among the valuables seized on May 17, 2018, and on June 11, 2018, were 52 branded handbags, 10 watches, and cash in different denominations – RM187,750 in old notes, RM21,150 in new notes, £320,500 in old notes, £2,700 in new notes, US$100, €20, S$40, 2,870,000 Sri Lankan rupees, 13,177 rupiahs, 376 hryvnias (Ukrainian currency), 50 francs, 10 rands, 531 riyals, and 740 Philippine pesos.

Also seized on the same day were four branded watches, 171 high-end handbags, and 27 pairs of shoes, while 40 luxury handbags were confiscated on June 11, 2018.

On Aug 2, 2018, some 27 Nissan Urvan vehicles were also seized by the authorities.

Forfeiture suit could still be filed

Meanwhile, according to a copy of the prosecution's submission tendered in court today, the plaintiff contended that the forfeiture suit could still be filed despite Najib and Rosmah having been much earlier hit with criminal charges.

The prosecution submitted that this is because the seized items targeted by the forfeiture civil suit are different than the ones linked to the criminal charges against Najib and Rosmah.

"The prosecution against the first and second respondents (Najib and Rosmah) under Subsection 4(1) of Act 613 (Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001), is in relation to different assets and not the seized assets listed under paragraphs 1 to 66 of the amended notice of motion (forfeiture suit)," the prosecution contended.

The prosecution's submission is in rebuttal against previous arguments by Najib and Rosmah's legal teams that the forfeiture civil suit should not have been filed as the husband and wife had previously been hit with criminal charges.

Najib has several 1MDB-linked criminal proceedings still ongoing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, such as the RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption case.

Rosmah also has a few ongoing corruption trials at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, among them a graft case involving the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak. - Mkini

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