1MDB trial: No agreement with govt to drop US$1.18bil suit, Shahrol tells court

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi told the High Court that he did not make an agreement with the government to drop 1MDB's US$1.18 bil lawsuit against him.

The former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO, who is testifying as a third-party witness in a lawsuit by 1MDB's subsidiary SRC International against Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, said he did not know why the company had struck him off from the list of defendants.

“I do not know, and I did not ask why I was dropped (from the lawsuit),” he said under cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, here on Monday (May 6).

Under new management, SRC filed the legal action in May 2021, alleging that Najib had committed a breach of trust and abuse of power, misappropriated the company's funds, and personally benefited from them.

It named Najib along with its former directors Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, Mohammed Azhar, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Datuk Che Abdullah @ Rashidi Che Omar, Shahrol Azral and Tan Sri Ismee Ismail in May 2021.

However, later, it removed six names, including Shahrol Azral, from the suit and retained Najib and Nik Faisal as the first and second defendants.

Additionally, Najib has brought the former named SRC International directors as third-party respondents in the suit.

Shahrol Azral agreed to Harvinderjit's suggestion that he was giving evidence in the 1MDB trial when the civil action against him was dropped.

When asked if his resignation from SRC International was because of something fishy in the company, Shahrol Azral disagreed.

The witness said he had never been detained or remanded in 2020, but the authorities called him to assist in investigations as a witness in the case.

Najib was SRC’s Emeritus Advisor from May 1, 2012, until March 4, 2019.

The company is seeking damages, interests, costs and a court declaration that Najib is responsible for the company’s losses due to his breach of duties and trust, and is demanding that Najib pay back the US$1.18bil in losses that it has suffered.

It is also seeking US$120mil and US$2mil from Najib and Nik Faisal respectively, on account of fraudulent breach of fiduciary duties and breach of trust.

Najib has been serving a jail sentence at the Kajang Prison since Aug 23, 2022, after being convicted of misappropriating RM42mil in SRC International funds.

After he filed a petition for a royal pardon on Sept 2, 2022, his jail term was reduced from 12 years to six years, and the fine was reduced to RM50mil from RM210mil.

The hearing continues before Justice Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin on Tuesday (May 7).

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