KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 23): Judicial Commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain on Friday (Sept 23) recused herself from hearing another lawsuit involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) at the High Court.
She withdrew from hearing 1MDB's suit against PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI), PSI chief executive officer Tarek Obaid, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, when it was called up for case management, on the grounds that she may be privy to matters pertaining to 1MDB when she was previously attached to the Securities Commission Malaysia's (SC) prosecution division.
On Thursday, she had also discharged herself from hearing 1MDB's suit against former Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy, for the same reason.
1MDB was on Friday represented by Kong Xin Qing of Messrs Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership, while Cheah Kha Mun of Messrs Wong Kian Kheong appeared for PSI and PetroSaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd. Cheah also mentioned on behalf of Tarek.
Lawyers Datuk Malik Imtiaz and Yvonne Lim appeared for JP Morgan (Switzerland) Ltd, while Deutsche Bank (M) Bhd was represented by Melvin Ng Yet Ting of Messrs Rahmat Lim and Partners.
Roz Mawar was supposed to take over the case from judge Quay Chew Soon, as he has been transferred to the Penang High Court.
1MDB is suing Deutsche Bank, two Swiss banks (Coutts & Co Ltd in Zurich and JP Morgan Ltd in Geneva), the two PetroSaudi firms, Tarek, as well as his right-hand man Patrick Mahony, for negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy and dishonest assistance.
The suit follows the fraudulent transfer of at least US$1.83 billion from 1MDB to PetroSaudi and Tarek on the pretext that 1MDB was purchasing equity stakes in energy projects that PSI had allegedly secured in its venture overseas. However, these projects did not exist.
The suit is part of six suits seeking over US$23 billion filed by 1MDB in May last year, against various individuals and companies that it alleged were involved in the siphoning of funds from the investment fund in a financial scandal that spanned several countries.
1MDB's former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd had filed another 16 suits against various individuals, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other office-bearers.
Besides this suit, Tarek as well as the two PetroSaudi companies are also facing criminal charges for alleged money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, at the High Court.
However, one of SRC’s suits against property tycoon Tan Sri Lim Soon Peng was settled earlier this month without any admission of liability or guilt.