Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Court throws out Umno’s bid to stay proceedings of SRC suit

The High Court says there are no special circumstances warranting a stay of the suit.

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The High Court today dismissed Umno’s application to stay the proceedings of a suit by SRC International against the political party to claim RM16 million said to be wrongfully transferred by the company to the party.

Lawyer Shahrul Fazli Kamarulzaman, representing Umno, said judicial commissioner Mohd Arief Emran Arifin dismissed the application on grounds that there were no special circumstances warranting a stay of the suit.

“Arief also indicated that the trial of this case may be heard in two more years, possibly in 2024, to make way for the disposal of other existing cases.

“The court has set May 9 for further case management by e-review,” the lawyer told reporters after the online proceedings today.

Also present was lawyer Nur Syafinaz Vani Abdullah, representing SRC International, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Jendela Pinggiran Sdn Bhd, which are the plaintiffs named in the suit.

Umno filed the application on Nov 24, 2021 on grounds that the party had filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s decision, made on Nov 10 the same year, dismissing its application to quash the suit and allowing an application by the plaintiffs (SRC International, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Jendela Pinggiran Sdn Bhd) to amend the writ of summons and statement of claim.

In a supporting affidavit filed with the application, Umno executive secretary Mohd Sumali Reduan claimed that it would not be prejudicial to the plaintiffs if the court allowed the application to stay the proceedings of the suit.

Meanwhile, Shahrul said his client’s appeal at the Court of Appeal would be heard on June 14.

In its writ of summons, the plaintiffs claimed that Umno knew, or ought to have known, that the money belonged to SRC International and that the political party had no basis to receive the funds.

On May 10, 2021, the finance ministry confirmed that 1MDB and its subsidiary SRC International had filed 22 civil suits seeking assets of over RM96.6 billion, including RM300 million from various local parties.

It said the suits were filed on May 7, six by 1MDB and 16 by SRC International.

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