Court turns down Najib’s bid to attend injunction hearing in 1MDB suit

The Federal Court denies Najib Razak leave to appeal the High Court’s refusal to allow him to attend the hearing of his application to set aside a Mareva injunction.

(FMT) – The Federal Court has shut the door on former prime minister Najib Razak’s bid to attend proceedings in the High Court in relation to 1MDB’s US$681 million civil suit against him.

Najib had wanted to attend the hearing of his application to set aside a Mareva injunction secured by 1MDB against him.

The injunction was granted by the High Court on an ex parte basis on Feb 8, 2022, and affirmed on Sept 27, 2023.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abdul Rahman Sebli said the apex court was not persuaded to grant Najib leave to pursue his appeal.

The court also ordered Najib to pay 1MDB costs of RM30,000.

Also on the Federal Court panel were Justices Rhodzariah Bujang and Hanipah Farikullah.

Najib was represented by lawyers Shafee Abdullah and Alaistar Norman, while K Siva Kumar appeared for 1MDB.

Norman later told reporters that Najib’s appeal to quash the injunction was fixed for mention on Aug 26.

1MDB and four of its subsidiary companies filed a lawsuit against Najib and 14 others in May 2021.

However, proceedings against seven defendants – former 1MDB CEOs Hazem Abdul Rahman and Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, former directors Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Ismee Ismail, Ong Gim Huat and Ashvin Jethanand Valiram, and former chief financial officer Azmi Tahir – were discontinued.

The defendants who remain parties to the suit are Geh Chong Heng, Loo Ai Swan (or Jasmine Loo), Tang Keng Chee, Vincent Koh, Radhi Mohamad, Kelvin Tan and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

They claim that Najib and the other defendants made fraudulent misrepresentations, breached their duties, including statutory duties, and had been unjustly enriched.

1MDB obtained the injunction against Najib and his agents, freezing his assets in relation to its claim of US$681 million against him, pending the determination of the civil suit.

The injunction allows Najib to withdraw RM100,000 monthly for daily expenses and legal fees.