Lawyer wants MACC’s discovery motion in 1MDB bond case struck out

Rosli Dahlan says there are procedural and substantive irregularities in the application.

(FMT) – A partner of a law firm involved in the settlement agreement between the government and Goldman Sachs over a US$6.5 billion 1MDB bond issue has applied to strike out a motion filed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to obtain documents through a court order.

In the application filed in the High Court registry last week, Rosli Dahlan is seeking general, exemplary and punitive damages from MACC for allegedly abusing the processes of the court and for defaming him.

The application has been scheduled for case management tomorrow before Justice K Muniandy.

In cause papers sighted by FMT, Rosli said MACC lacks the legal standing to file the application and obtain the orders sought against him.

Rosli, one of 17 partners in law firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership (RDS), said MACC does not possess the necessary power or authority to make the application.

He also claimed the court lacked specific jurisdiction to grant the relief sought.

In addition, Rosli said, the application suffers from procedural and substantive irregularities.

As such, he said, the application amounts to an abuse of the process and infringes his constitutional rights against oppressive and vexatious criminal proceedings.

Rosli also described MACC’s application as mala fide, malicious, scandalous, frivolous, vexatious and slanderous, as none of the documents sought is linked to him.

Instead, he said, it refers to lawyer DP Naban, a senior partner in RDS, who is not named as a respondent in the MACC application.

On Oct 11, MACC filed two motions – one against Rosli and RDS and another against fellow lawyer Chetan Jethwani and his legal firm, Chetan Jethwani & Co.

The anti-graft agency wants both law firms to provide documents in connection with an investigation into the settlement agreement entered between Goldman Sachs and the government over 1MDB’s US$6.5 billion bond issue.

MACC said both lawyers refused to allow its officers to search for documents during visits conducted on Oct 6.

It said the lawyers had taken the stand that the documents were privileged communication between client and solicitor.

The lawyers also claimed that MACC must obtain an order from the High Court under Section 46(2) of the MACC Act, read together with Section 126(1) of the Evidence Act, to compel disclosure.

However, MACC denies the applicability of the provisions in the circumstances of the case.

In separate affidavits to support each application, MACC investigating officer Sabri Latif said RDS was appointed legal adviser to 1MDB and was involved in negotiations that led to the settlement agreement inked with Goldman Sachs on Aug 18, 2020.

He also said Chetan Jethwani & Co were the solicitors for Goldman Sachs.