1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against Najib, 17 others put off due to ‘new development’

The prosecution has received letters from counsels in other 1MDB-linked forfeiture suits which may affect proceedings.

A new development has arisen in relation to the 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and 17 others.

As a result, the initially-scheduled hearing of the prosecution’s submission in the suit before the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning was postponed to Aug 30.

During open-court proceedings before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan this morning, deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin applied for the postponement due to the new development contained in letters sent to the prosecution.

It is understood that these letters came from counsel acting for other 1MDB-linked forfeiture suits pending before separate Kuala Lumpur High Courts.

“We received letters regarding this case and other forfeiture cases, they are interrelated and may affect this forfeiture case (suit against Najib and the 17 other respondents).

“The cases are interrelated so we need time to look through the new developments. Whatever the development, we will inform the court on Aug 30,” she said when addressing Zaini today.

When the judge asked whether this new development could have a big effect on the present forfeiture suit, Faten said the prosecution needs to peruse the developments first and will inform the court on Aug 30.

When met by the media outside the court, she confirmed what she had told the court during proceedings but declined to reveal what the new developments are.

Today’s hearing was for the prosecution to raise counter-submissions against the respondent’s arguments for the suit to be dismissed.

The previous hearing was on May 7 before Zaini.

On May 8, 2019, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) 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 (better 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 (the 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, 13,177.00 rupiahs, 376 hryvnias (the 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.

By : HIDIR REDUAN ABDUL RASHID – MALAYSIAKINI

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