KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its four subsidiaries have on Tuesday (Feb 8) obtained an ex-parte Mareva injunction from the High Court (commercial division) against Datuk Seri Najib Razak or his agents, freezing his assets in relation to their claim of US$681 million against the former prime minister and finance minister.
The Mareva injunction against Najib allows him to withdraw up to RM100,000 monthly from his bank accounts.
theedgemarkets.com is given to understand that the Mareva injunction applies worldwide and only to the Pekan member of Parliament even though other former directors and board of advisers are also named in the 1MDB suit. The injunction is to prevent the dissipation of the US$681 million claimed against Najib and several others.
A Mareva injunction is a court order that effectively freezes the assets of the person where legal action is before the court. It is to prevent the transfer of assets that may include money held in banks or financial institutions.
1MDB along with Global Diversified Investment Company Ltd (previously known as 1MDB Global Investment Ltd or 1MDBGIL) and three other units, are understood to have filed the ex-parte Mareva injunction through the firm Messrs Skrine on Tuesday. The matter was heard the same day at 11.30am as a check of the court cases list reveals.
1MDB director Mohd Hisyamuddin Awang Abu Bakar affirmed an affidavit in support of the application for the injunction.
In the hearing, 1MDB and 1MDBGIL were represented by lawyers from Skrine and Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership, comprising Datuk DP Naban, Siva Kumar Kanagasabai, Foo Siew Li, Kong Xin Qing, Dhanyaa Shreeya, Tommy Lim Ka Hui and Adam Thye Yong Wei.
It is learnt that Judicial Commissioner Atan Mustaffa Yussof Ahmad heard the application and granted the relief sought.
A file court search online revealed that the Mareva injunction against Najib only allows him to withdraw RM100,000 monthly from his bank accounts to meet his expenditure or living expenses. Should he require more, he has to apply to 1MDB’s solicitors.
1MDB and its subsidiaries had in May last year filed a multi-billion dollar suit against the former prime minister and several other defendants who were former directors or board of advisers in the company.
1MDB and its subsidiaries claim that US$681 million was misappropriated and transferred to Najib's accounts.
Following Tuesday's ex-parte Mareva injunction, the court fixed Feb 21 to hear Najib should he contest the injunction.
Najib had filed an application to stay the hearing of the 1MDB suit, and that application has been fixed for Friday.
Court documents sighted by theedgemarkets.com reveal that Najib's conviction in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case — where he was sentenced to 12 years' jail and fined RM210 million — was one of the reasons that prompted 1MDB to apply for the Mareva injunction.
1MDB was the parent company of SRC.
Najib's conviction in the SRC case had been upheld by the Court of Appeal (COA), but Najib has appealed to the Federal Court. His explanation that the source of funds in his bank accounts were donations by Arab royalty was dismissed by both the High Court and the COA.
A source familiar with the case observed that given the Mareva injunction, 1MDB appears to have demonstrated to the court that there is a strong arguable case against the former PM.