Thursday, September 23, 2021

Hearing of 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against Najib, 17 others postponed

The prosecution cites new developments in requesting for the suit to be postponed.

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The hearing of a 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against former prime minister Najib Razak and 17 others involving hundreds of assets has been postponed to Aug 30 due to a new development in the case.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan fixed the date after deputy public prosecutor Faten Hadni Khairuddin requested for an adjournment, saying the prosecution had received letters regarding the case and needed some time to study it.

“The letters are interrelated with other forfeiture suits. We are considering these letters. However, due to the movement control order, we need more time to have discussions,” she told the court.

Other parties in the case did not object to the adjournment.

When asked by Zaini whether the new development would derail current proceedings, Faten said they need more time to look at the letters and will update the court on any developments.

Zaini then allowed today’s postponement and fixed Aug 30 to hear submissions from the prosecution.

When met after the proceeding, Faten said the letters were received from one of the counsels in the case but that the prosecution was unable to disclose the contents or when they had received them.

“It is interrelated with other forfeiture suits so it affects the seized items in this case,” she said.

On May 8, 2019, the Attorney-General’s Chambers filed a forfeiture notice on hundreds of items including handbags of various brands and 27 vehicles seized from Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor, their three children as well as 13 individuals and companies, said to be linked to 1MDB.

Money amounting to more than RM18 million in several bank accounts in Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, Al-Rajhi Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, AmBank Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd was also frozen between Aug 16, 2018 and March 11, 2019.

In the notice of forfeiture, the prosecution named Najib, Rosmah and children, Nor Ashman Razak, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz (Najib’s stepson) and Nooryana Najwa, Mohd Kyizzad Mesran, Senijauhar Sdn Bhd, Aiman Ruslan, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta, Yayasan Mustika Kasih, Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd, Goh Gaik Ewe, Roger Ng Chong Hwa (former Goldman Sachs bank officer) and his wife, Lim Hwee Bin, Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun as the first to 18th respondents.

The application was filed on grounds that the prosecution, acting under Section 56 (1) read together with Section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Code, was satisfied that the items seized between May 17, 2018 and March 11, 2019, were related to an offence under Section 4 (1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 or as the result of illegal activities involving the respondents.

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