Prosecution objects to Najib's discovery application over valuables linked to 1MDB

  • Nation
  • Friday, 31 Jan 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution has objected to a discovery application by Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his family, who are seeking permission to physically inspect items purchased allegedly using funds siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

DPP Fatnin Yusof said Najib's application should not be allowed on security grounds.

The discovery application was filed by Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and their daughter Nooryana Najwa in relation to a forfeiture suit filed by the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) over hundreds of items which were seized from three premises linked to the family after the 14th General Election.

The valuables – which included branded watches, handbags and cash – were kept in a safe in Bank Negara and DPP Fatnin said to conduct an inspection there was impossible due to security reasons.

"The vault is in a secret location which can only be accessed by the bank's authorised officers. The bank might not grant permission (for the inspection) because it might affect the security and secrecy of the vault.

"Since there are many items, many individuals would have access to it. This could affect security," she said here on Friday (Jan 31).

The prosecution also contended that if the application was allowed, it would open the floodgates in other forfeiture applications filed by the AGC.

"This is a test case. We do not want this to be put as an example for similar applications involving the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 cases as there are no previous cases where physical inspection of the items have been allowed," she said.

She also argued that the items, which were mostly of high value, might depreciate if they were removed from the vault and taken to another location as they required delicate handling and care.

The prosecution suggested for the inspection to be done via video recording to help the applicants verify the items.

Najib's lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, however, argued that it was crucial for his client and family members to identify the exhibits.

This was to determine whether they had acquired the items themselves or received it as gifts.

"Physical inspection is a must as the police did not provide a search list after the valuables were seized.

"This is to allow the applicants to verify whether the items were in fact a gift from maybe King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Qatar or a businessman from Kuala Lumpur" he said.

Lawyer Iskandar Shah Ibrahim, who represented Rosmah and Nooryana, adopted Shafee's submissions.

High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan is set to deliver his decision on the application next Monday (Feb 3).

On July 18,2019, Najib, 67; Rosmah, 69; and Nooryana, 32, filed the discovery application to be allowed to physically inspect the items seized by police.

They claimed the pictures of the items provided by the prosecution were "not clear".

In a notice of motion, Najib is seeking for the prosecution to provide or supply colour pictures of the items, as well as their detailed descriptions, such as the label, symbol, gift card, package and box of the movable properties that were seized on May 17,2018.

He had filed the application on the grounds that parts of the boxes, handbags and containers that were seized had been removed from its original wrappings and this has caused confusion in their identification process.

Among the items mentioned in the notice are 315 handbags of various luxury brands, 14 watches and 27 pairs of shoes of various brands, as well as cash in various currencies, including RM537,000, £2,700,2, 870,000 Sri Lanka rupees, RM187,750 in old notes and £320,500.

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