Court strikes out Umno's lawsuit to reclaim RM116.7mil seized in property raids


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has struck out a lawsuit by Umno to reclaim RM116.7mil allegedly belonging to the party that was seized in police’s raids at properties linked to former president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) last year. 

Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad made the ruling after allowing an application by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the government to strike out the suit on Thursday (March 21).

The court also ordered Umno to pay RM7,000 in costs.

This was informed by Senior Federal Counsel S. Narkunavathy, who represented the police, and the government when met outside the court after the proceedings in chambers.

She said the court had allowed the striking out application on grounds that the plaintiff (Umno) has no reasonable cause of action to commence the legal action, and that the party has no locus standi to file the suit against the defendants.

“The decision was made on grounds that they have not shown their locus standi and the suit was vexatious, an abuse of the court’s process and scandalous,” she said.

Umno’s lawyer Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh said he had informed the judge that he will appeal against the court’s decision.

On Sept 21 last year, Umno’s public officer Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh filed the suit on behalf of the party naming Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) deputy director (Intelligence and operations) Datuk Mohd Sakri Arifin, then CCID Assistant Commissioner R. Rajagopal, Amar Singh, the Inspector-General of Police and the government as defendants.

In the statement of claim, Umno alleged that on May 17 last year, Mohd Sakri had conducted search and seizure on the premises with a raiding team from the PDRM and on May 25, the same year, Amar Singh announced that among others, RM114mil cash was seized by the team from the premises.

The party further contended that during another press conference on June 28, Amar Singh announced that the amount seized was RM116.7mil and not RM114mil.

Umno claimed that the search and seizure of the alleged items was illegal, unlawful and a violation of its rights under the Federal Constitution.

It also claimed that the search and seizure was conducted arbitrarily without reasonable suspicion.

Umno stated that the defendants had breached their statutory duty for having acted in such a manner against the party without any reasonable cause and with malice, intentionally to injure and cause maximum damage to Umno.

Among others, Umno sought for the defendants to disclose the list of items seized in the raids, and a declaration that the search and seizure conducted on May 17 was illegal.

It had also sought for an order for the return of the sum of RM116.7mil to Umno, as well as an order for the return of the RM43.3mil sum being the difference between the sum of RM160mil and RM116.7mil to the party.