MACC to discontinue action against lawyers, law firms for documents

No reasons were given for the withdrawals of the suits over the 1MDB-related settlement agreement between Putrajaya and Goldman Sachs.

(FMT) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is abandoning its suit for discovery of documents held by two lawyers involved in the settlement agreement between the government and Goldman Sachs over a US$6.5 billion 1MDB bond issue, and their legal firms.

This was revealed in a letter from deputy public prosecutor Law Chin How to Justice K Muniandy seeking that the Jan 17 date for hearing Rosli Dahlan’s striking out application be vacated.

In the letter, sent to the High Court last week sighted by FMT, Law said the MACC does not want to pursue the matter.

Instead, it is requesting that the judge hold case management this week to issue further directions in the suit.

Rosli’s application to strike out the suit, filed last month, alleged that the MACC’s action was an abuse of the court process and calculated to tarnish his reputation.

The prosecution had also sent a similar letter to Justice Jamil Hussin to vacate the Jan 2 hearing date against lawyer Chetan Jethwani and his legal firm, Chetan Jethwani & Co.

No reasons were given for the intended withdrawals.

Meanwhile, the MACC also wants the New York-based investment bank’s intervener application to be joined in criminal motion, scheduled to be heard before Jamil on Jan 8, to be taken off.

In its application, Goldman Sachs said any handing over to the MACC of privileged documents relating to the settlement with the government, entered three years ago, would cause it substantial harm.

It also risks prejudicing its position in an ongoing arbitration dispute with Putrajaya.

On Oct 11, MACC filed two motions – one against Rosli and his firm, Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership (RDS), and another against Chetan and his legal firm.

MACC said both lawyers had 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.

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 added that Chetan Jethwani & Co were the solicitors for Goldman Sachs.