Thursday 18 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 22): A new judge will be appointed to preside over the US$1.83 billion civil suit filed by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) against Saudi national Tarek Obaid — who runs PetroSaudi International Ltd and PetroSaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd — and three foreign banks, among others, as the current judge has been moved to a different High Court.

In case management on Monday, judicial commissioner Quay Chew Soon revealed to lawyers representing the plaintiff and defendants that he has been transferred to the Penang High Court by the Chief Judge of Malaya Federal Court and will not be hearing the case. 

Kuala Lumpur High Court senior assistant registrar Syeela Marlina Uttaman then set Feb 8, 2022 for case management. 

During the last case management on Oct 18, Quay had disclosed to the parties that he had worked with Messrs Skrine before his appointment as judicial commissioner in 2019. 

It should be noted that Skrine had rendered advice to Deutsche Bank, which is one of the defendants in the case, in relation to 1MDB transactions involving Coutts & Co Ltd in Zurich and JP Morgan Ltd in Geneva. 

Quay then said he, however, was not privy to the advice Skrine gave Deutsche Bank. 

The lawyers were supposed to deliberate on this and state if there were any issues in him hearing the case, and they stated for the record that they did not have an issue with him hearing the case. 

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 PetroSaudi International 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 on May 7 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. In addition, its 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.

1MDB obtained a court order from Quay to serve the court documents out of jurisdiction on Coutts, JPMorgan, Tarek, Mahony, PetroSaudi International and PetroSaudi Holdings, as they are based overseas.

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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