Sunday, May 16, 2021

Malaysia: Former PM Najib Razak named in amended anti-corruption lawsuit


Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been named as one of the respondents in the amended Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) RM700,000 forfeiture suit against Pekan Umno.

This followed High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s order – given to MACC Deputy Public Prosecutor Allan Suman Pillai on Aug 30 – that the prosecution amend the name of the respondent in the suit.

Apart from the former prime minister, Pekan Umno as a division and 39 other respondents were named in the amended suit, including the division’s deputy chief, Datuk Seri Zamri Ramly, and the division’s Puteri head, Sida Tantiana Sariat.

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Najib’s son Datuk Mohd Nizar, who is also the division’s Pemuda Umno chief, was also among those named in the suit.

However, both Najib and his son were absent from the court.

The High Court also allowed the prosecution to file a gazette notice – under Section 56(1) and Section 61 (2) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 – to allow third parties claiming any interest in the RM700,000 that was allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to come forward.

Earlier, Datuk M. Reza Hassan, representing all 41 respondents, made an oral application on the stay on proceedings as he filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal on Aug 30.

DPP Allan objected to the stay application, arguing that proceedings could go on, as it did not interfere with the appeal process.

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Related: Kleptocracy: 1MDB trial involving Malaysia’s ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak Postponed

Justice Mohd Nazlan then fixed Nov 15 for the gazette notice to be executed after the prosecution asked for two months’ time to implement the process.

He also set Oct 3 to hear the stay application.

Pekan Umno had before this contested the forfeiture suit based on the argument that the prosecution had named the wrong respondent by naming only Pekan Umno instead of an office bearer of the division.

The suit against the division is part of a June 19 civil forfeiture suit against 41 entities comprising individuals, companies and political parties to recover a total of RM270mil related to 1MDB.

The suit comes under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The court also recorded the consent judgments between the prosecution and two entities – Yayasan Rahah and Pekan Umno’s education bureau chairperson Datuk Ibrahim Awang Ismail – to forfeit funds allegedly received from 1MDB.

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Lawyer Mohd Amin Othman represented both Yayasan Rahah and Ibrahim.


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