Judicial commissioner recuses herself from 1MDB trial

KUALA LUMPUR: Another judicial commissioner has recused herself from presiding over a lawsuit filed by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and 14 others.

JC Adlin Abdul Majid made the recusal following an application by the plaintiffs, which included 1MDB, that sought for the matter to be heard and decided by a different judge.

The application was based on the grounds that JC Adlin was a member of Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill (LHAG) at the same time two lawyers representing the plaintiffs, Datuk DP Naban and Rosli Dahlan, were partners of LHAG between January 2005 and February 2020.

According to the notice of application, at the material time when Naban, Rosli and JC Adlin were partners of LHAG, LHAG had received instructions to act for the plaintiffs in relation to recovery action against some of the entities involved in the allegations which would be pleaded in these proceedings.

Naban and Rosli are now partners at Messrs Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership (RDS) while JC Adlin was named a High Court judicial commissioner on April 1.

Lawyer Siva Kumar Kanagasabai from Messrs Skrine, co-counsel with RDS in the case, confirmed the matter, which was fixed for case management via online proceedings here yesterday.

“The matter will now be transferred to another judge, ” he said.

The lawsuit is among 22 filed by 1MDB and its subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd against individuals including 1MDB’s former board of directors who allegedly defrauded the companies.

Previously, two other judicial commissioners had withdrawn from similar legal actions linked to 1MDB.

The Finance Ministry has confirmed that 1MDB and SRC filed a total of 22 civil suits to recover assets worth over RM96.6bil, including about RM300mil against various local parties.

The ministry said the writs, filed on May 7, comprised six by 1MDB and 16 by SRC.

The writs filed by 1MDB are against nine entities, including two foreign financial institutions, and 25 individuals, while those filed by SRC are against eight entities and 15 individuals for various wrongdoings.

The wrongdoings include breach of contractual, statutory, common law and fiduciary duties; breach of trust; fraud; conspiracy to defraud; fraudulent misrepresentation; fraudulent breach of duties and trust; abuse of power; breach of fiduciary duties in public office; and dishonest assistance in misappropriation of funds.

“1MDB and SRC contend that these entities and/or individuals have been unjustly enriched by wrongfully receiving monies from 1MDB or SRC, ” the ministry said.

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