Hearing of US$340mil 1MDB-linked suit on Dec 6 and 9

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s application to block PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) and its director Tarek Obaid from using over US$340mil (RM1.4bil) linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which was kept in a client’s account at a British law firm, will be heard on Dec 6 and 9 at the High Court here.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh fixed the dates after hearing the latest development of the case from deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed.

“The next case management will be on Nov 11 and any further affidavit or affidavit-in-reply must be filed on or before Nov 10.

“There will be no further affidavits after Nov 10,” the judge said, according to Bernama.

Earlier, Budiman said the law firm, Clyde & Co LLP in the United Kingdom, had informed the prosecution in writing that the law firm did not wish to respond to the prosecution’s affidavit served to them.

On Oct 8, Budiman told the court that the prosecution had served the cause papers on the three foreign entities, namely PetroSaudi International Ltd in Saudi Arabia, as well as the two London-based companies, Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary Services Ltd, hence they needed time to confirm whether or not they wanted to respond and to file an affidavit on the documents served to them.

Following that, Ahmad Shahrir postponed the hearing that initially was fixed for Oct 8.

Lawyers Alex Tan and Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden represented PSI’s South American subsidiary company, PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd (PSOS-VZ), and Obaid, respectively.

On July 16 last year, the court granted the government’s application for an interim order to block the parties from moving the monies linked to 1MDB kept in a client’s account at the UK-based law firm to other entities.

The interim order is to maintain the status quo of the parties until the disposal of the government’s prohibition application seeking an order to restrain any dealings on the monies belonging to PSI and PSOS-VZ, which are currently in an escrow account held by Clyde & Co.

Besides the US$340mil, the government in its application is also seeking unspecified money that was deposited under an intermediate account name, Temple Fiduciary Services Ltd, at Barclays Bank in the UK. The application, filed under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, named Obaid, PSI, PSOS-VZ, Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary as the first to fifth respondents.

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