Najib denied leave to appeal 1MDB lawsuit attendance ruling

Datuk Seri Najib Razak.-filepic

PUTRAJAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been denied leave to appeal the Court of Appeal's ruling that did not allow him to attend the proceedings of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) US$681mil civil lawsuit filed against him and several others.

His application was dismissed by a three-member Federal Court bench, comprising Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Sebli, and Federal Court judges Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Hanipah Farikullah.

Delivering the unanimous decision, Justice Abdul Rahman said the court was not persuaded that this was a fit and proper case for it to exercise its discretion to grant leave under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964, adding that the matter was academic.

He ordered Najib to pay RM30,000 in costs to 1MDB and its four subsidiaries, 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited, 1MDB Energy Limited, 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited, and Global Diversified Investment Company Limited.

On Nov 10, 2022, High Court Judge Atan Mustafa Yusoff Ahmad dismissed Najib’s application to be present in the proceedings to lift the Mareva Injunction obtained by 1MDB and its four subsidiaries.

ALSO READ: High Court dismisses Najib's attempt to put aside Mareva injunction

The subsequent appeal by the former Pekan member of parliament, who is currently serving a six-year sentence in Kajang Prison, was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Nov 24, 2023.

1MDB and its four subsidiaries filed the suit in May 2021 against Najib, Terrence Geh Choh Heng (former 1MDB finance director), Jasmine Loo Ai Swan (former 1MDB counsel), Casey Tang Keng Chee (former 1MDB executive director), Vincent Beng, Radhi Mohamad (former chief financial officer and subsequently chief operating officer).

On Feb 8, 2022, the High Court granted the ex-parte Mareva injunction against Najib.

On Sept 27, last year, the High Court upheld the injunction which was heard on an interparte basis, following which Najib filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The injunction order obtained by the companies was to freeze Najib’s assets before the determination of the civil suit.

ALSO READ: Court rejects Najib’s appeal

The injunction also limits Najib to withdrawing no more than RM100,000 per month for living and legal expenses. He must obtain written permission from the lawyers of 1MDB and Global Diversified if more is required.

A Mareva injunction is an order preventing someone from disposing of property pending the outcome or conclusion of a legal action.

In Wednesday’s (May 29) proceeding, Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said his client wanted to attend the proceedings to brief his lawyers on the matter.

However, counsel Siva Kumar Kanagasabai, representing 1MDB and the four subsidiaries, said the matter was academic as the hearing of the Mareva Injunction which Najib sought to attend is over.

Najib’s other counsel Alaistar Brandah Norman told reporters that his appeal to lift the injunction is scheduled for case management on Aug 26. - Bernama

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