Sunday 25 Feb 2024
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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 7): The Federal Court and the High Court here were informed on Tuesday (Feb 7) that SRC International Sdn Bhd will have a new set of solicitors representing it, replacing the previous one from Messrs Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership.

With that, the scheduled SRC International hearing of the suit against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and six others at the High Court later this month had to be vacated.

This was indicated to High Court (commercial division) judge Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin following case managementon Tuesday morning. He has fixed Feb 28 for the new solicitors to update the court as understood by The Edge.

Initially, Ahmad Fairuz had fixed Feb 13 to Feb 23 this year for the hearing of the suit.

Similarly, with regard to Najib’s appeal for the RM42 million Mareva injunction imposed against him — in relation to the suit filed by SRC International and Gandingan Mentari that was obtained by the High Court and affirmed by the Court of Appeal, the apex court deputy registrar Mazuliana Abdul Rashid was also informed on Tuesday by the representative from Rosli Dahlan Saravana that new solicitors for SRC International and Gandingan Mentari had been pulled in.

Hence, Mazuliana has fixed Feb 22 for case management for parties to update the apex court.

Rosli Dahlan Saravana was the solicitor for the 16 suits filed by SRC International and six by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). However, it remains unknown if the law firm will represent 1MDB. All those suits were filed in May 2021 by the firm.

SRC’s US$1.18 billion claim

SRC International filed the US$1.18 billion suit against Najib and six former senior officers of SRC that included its former managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

The company claimed Najib as the advisor emeritus and leader of the government who supported the company and gave the go-ahead for it to get the RM4 billion Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP) loans in 2011 and 2012, leading to the bulk of the funds being transferred overseas.

It claimed that Najib changed the investment structure of which the loans were supposed to be utilised, going against Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s requirements.

The firm further showed the money trail in the utilisation of the fund, including a sum of US$120 million that had allegedly gone into Najib’s account or placed under his control, and a sum of US$82,000 that was allegedly transferred to Najib’s proxy Nik Faisal.

Besides naming Najib and Nik Faisal, the firm named former board members Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, Datuk Mohammed Azhar Osman Khairuddin and Datuk Che Abdullah @ Rashidi Che Omar as defendants. However, five of them were later dropped as defendants.

The firm obtained a judgement in default against Nik Faisal on Nov 1, after he failed to enter an appearance in the suit.

Later, Ahmad Fairuz allowed Najib’s application to bring third party notices against Suboh, Shahrol Azral, Ismee, Azhar and Che Abdullah back into the claim late last year.

Another RM42 million suit

Besides the commercial suit, SRC International and Gandingan Mentari also filed a RM42 million suit against Najib for the fund he received from SRC. The former premier had been convicted and is already serving his 12-year jail sentence and a RM210 million fine.

As a result, the High Court judicial commissioner Datuk Mohd Arief Emran Arifin, had in March last year obtained a Mareva injunction which bars the former premier from removing, disposing of, dealing with or diminishing the value of any of his assets in and outside of Malaysia, of up to RM42 million, pending the final determination of the suit.

Besides this, the court directed Najib to disclose to the plaintiff’s solicitors in writing, his assets in or outside of Malaysia, up to the value of RM42 million, within 30 days of the March last year’s order.

Najib, in complying with the Mareva injunction requirements on SRC and Gandingan Mentari, however, disclosed to the court in his affidavit last August that his assets were worth RM4.49 million.

A three-member Court of Appeal bench had upheld the Mareva injunction last Dec 22, resulting in Najib appealing the matter to the apex court, where the case management was fixed for Feb 7 (Tuesday).

“Having considered the submissions, both orally and written, the bench found there is no appealable error that warrants the appellate court’s intervention. The order of the High Court [to impose the Mareva injunction] is therefore affirmed,” Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, who was leading the bench, said in dismissing Najib’s appeal.

In Tueday’s proceedings, Najib was represented by Muhammad Farhan Shafee, while Thenest Anbalagan and Lisa Yong from Rosli Dahlan Saravana appeared for SRC International at the High Court and Federal Court respectively.

Edited ByLee Weng Khuen
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