Prosecution not appealing forfeiture of RM114m seized in May 2018 Pavilion condo raid

KUALA LUMPUR : The prosecution is not appealing the High Court’s decision last month to dismiss the forfeiture of RM114 million in cash — mostly comprising foreign currencies — purportedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that was seized during a dramatic raid at the Pavilion condominium in May 2018, shortly after the general elections.

Multiple sources have confirmed with theedgemarkets.com the prosecution’s decision not to challenge the court ruling.

This is despite the enforcement of time bars in all civil and criminal cases being exempted as issued by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat due to the implementation of the present lockdown, and affected parties are given 14 days after the conclusion of the lockdown to file their documents.

In criminal cases, parties are normally given 14 days after a decision is made to file the necessary notice of appeals, while in civil cases it is 30 days.

“There is nothing before the court (i.e. notice of appeal) filed,” a source familiar with the matter said.

The RM114 million sought by the prosecution is being claimed by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is ex-Umno president, and Umno itself.

On May 20, it was reported the High Court Justice Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin dismissed the government’s forfeiture suit for RM114 million in cash seized during the police raid of a Pavilion luxury condominium unit owned by OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd.

However, the judge did not make any order as to whom the money should be returned.

Justice Jamil said the prosecution has failed to prove the monies were obtained from illegal activities.

“As the predicate offence was not proven, the issue that the monies were obtained from illegal activities does not arise. Thus, it cannot be said that the money to be forfeited is the result of the conduct of the predicate offence,” he said.

The judge also said the prosecution has failed to bring any evidence that the cash originated from 1MDB.

As the case was decided on May 20, the last stipulated day to file the notice of appeal should have been June 3, before the implementation of the lockdown.

It is understood that the matter was referred to Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, who is said to have decided not to file the appeal.

The condo raid had yielded between RM900 million and RM1.1 billion worth of valuables retrieved, including close to 12,000 pieces of luxurious jewellery, handbags, watches and cash. 

The hearing for the other assets has yet to begin.

By : HAFIZ YATIM – THE EDGE MARKETS

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