UK law firm declines to respond to affidavit in US$340m 1MDB-linked suit

KUALA LUMPUR : The hearing of the government’s forfeiture of US$340 million which allegedly belongs to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) from Saudi national Tarek Obaid and others is set to continue in December after UK law firm Clyde & Co LLP, which is named in the suit, declined to respond to and file affidavits on documents it was served.

At case management here on Friday, Justice Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh set Dec 6 and 9 for the continuation of the forfeiture hearing. 

He also set Nov 11 for case management for parties to file further affidavits.

UK law firm declines to respond to affidavit in US$340m 1MDB-linked suit

Tarek is represented by Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden, while PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) subsidiary PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd (PSOSL) is represented by Alex Tan.

The hearing had initially been postponed by Shahrir to give time for law firm Clyde & Co from the UK to confirm whether or not it wanted to respond and to file an affidavit on the documents served.

During Friday’s proceedings, deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed informed the judge that Clyde & Co had responded to the Attorney-General’s Chambers in writing that it did not intend to respond to the affidavit served to the law firm by the prosecution. 

The prosecution had served the documents on the three foreign entities named in the application, namely PSI in Saudi Arabia, as well as the two London-based companies Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary Services Ltd.

On July 16 last year, the court granted the government’s application for an interim order to block the parties from moving the monies linked to 1MDB and kept in a client’s account at the UK-based law firm to other entities.

The interim order is to maintain the status quo of the parties until the disposal of the government’s prohibition application seeking an order to restrain any dealings on the monies belonging to PSI and PSOSL which are currently in an escrow account held by Clyde & Co.

Besides the US$340 million, the government, in its application, is also seeking unspecified money that was deposited under an intermediate account name, Temple Fiduciary Services Ltd, at Barclays Bank in the UK.

The application, filed under Section 53 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, named Tarek, PSI, PSOSL, Clyde & Co, and Temple Fiduciary as the first to fifth respondents.

By : Timothy Achariam – THE EDGE MARKETS

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