High Court allows application to strike out suit by Najib against his former banker, two others

  • Nation
  • Monday, 28 Sep 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has allowed an application by former banker Joanna Yu and two others to strike out a lawsuit against them by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over allegations of mismanagement of his bank accounts.

High Court judge Justice Khadijah Idris allowed the application by Yu, AmBank Islamic Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd to strike out the lawsuit on the grounds that the legal action by Najib was unsustainable.

In her ruling, the judge found that the plaintiff's lawsuit was scandalous, frivolous, vexatious, and an abuse of court process.

The court also took note that Najib initiated the suit against Yu and the two entities after she testified in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.

Yu was the 54th prosecution witness testifying against the Pekan MP in the trial.

“This action by the plaintiff is not to seek damages but for a collateral purpose, to bolster the plaintiff’s defence in the SRC case, and thus an abuse of court process, ” the judge said here on Monday (Sept 28).

The court also ordered Najib to pay RM30,000 in costs to AmBank and AMMB Holdings and RM25,000 in costs to Yu.

Yu was represented by Datuk Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar, while AmBank was represented by Yoong Sin Min.

Meanwhile, Najib's lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the court that they would be filing an appeal against the decision soon.

Both Yu and Najib were not in court during the proceedings.

On Dec 9 last year, Najib filed the lawsuit at the High Court registry and named AmBank, AMMB Holdings and Yu as defendants.

According to the statement of claim, Najib contended that AmBank and Yu had committed negligence when handling his bank accounts (ending with 694,880,898 and 906) by disclosing these to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, who is better known as Jho Low.

Najib claimed that the defendants had disclosed his bank statements, debit and credit remittance transactions, and balances of funds of account 694 without authorisation to Low as the third party.

He claimed that the defendants did not engage with him to report on Low’s actions regarding the said bank account and that the bank had facilitated the unauthorised third party to make money transfers between accounts 880,898 and 906.

Najib also claimed that he had been kept in the dark about the details of his own bank account statements and other related documents by the bank under Low’s instruction.

He alleged that Low with the help of other unauthorised third parties had made 20 transactions to regularise the accounts totalling RM12mil through several local and foreign remittances of funds and that the accounts had been red-flagged by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Najib claimed the defendants failed to report and get direct instructions from him despite the accounts being red-flagged.

He also claimed that he only discovered the act committed by the defendants during the SRC International trial after the prosecution had revealed the conversations between Yu and third parties.

Najib is seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages from the defendants.

Yu, together with AMMB Holdings Bhd and AmBank Islamic Bhd, is seeking to strike out the lawsuit against them filed by Najib.

On July 28, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali convicted and sentenced Najib to 12 years’ imprisonment and fined him RM210mil over the SRC International criminal case.

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