The High Court yesterday allowed the application by 1MDB to obtain documents in the US$248 million suit against Hollywood film producer Riza Aziz and two of his companies for allegedly misusing the strategic investment company’s funds.
Counsel Hariharan Tara Singh, representing Riza and the two companies, said the decision was delivered through email by judge Amarjeet Singh.
"The judge has given 30 days for the defendants to comply with the order. The court also fixed Sept 12 for further case management," he told reporters when contacted.
The plaintiffs, 1MDB and three of its subsidiaries, namely 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited, 1MDB Energy Limited and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited, are represented by lawyers Rabindra S Nathan and Vanessa Thong Chon Yen.
1MDB, and its subsidiaries filed the application on Jan 28, seeking documents including those related to the receipt and use of US$10,173,104 in funds by Red Granite Pictures and US$238 million by Red Granite Capital Limited.
On May 7, 2021, 1MDB and its subsidiaries sued Riza and his two companies for receiving around US$248 million in funds that they allegedly misused for their personal gain, including to finance a film and to purchase various properties.
They also claimed that since Riza managed both companies, he would have known that the money originating from 1MDB had been misappropriated for their gain.
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that Riza is responsible for the misappropriated funds and demanding repayment.
Riza in his defence claimed that the funds were obtained from a loan from the Saudi royal family or International Petroleum Investment Company and not from 1MDB, adding that it was hard for an unknown film producer to obtain loans from banks and that this had compelled him to seek funds from individuals or companies.