Crime & Courts

1MDB's US$8 billion civil suit against Najib to start next January

KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) US$8 billion civil suit against Datuk Seri Najib Razak and several others has been set for January 2025.

Counsel Siva Kumar Kanagasabai, who represents 1MDB, said High Court judge Atan Mustaffa Yussof fixed the date during the case management yesterday.

He said the court had fixed the trial to run from Jan 27 to 30; April 7 to 10; and April 21 to 24.

Najib's counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, on Feb 11 last year told the court that the trial would not proceed until the disposal of the former prime minister's ongoing criminal trial involving the sovereign state fund.

It was reported that 1MDB had obtained a High Court order to freeze Najib's assets and limit him to a maximum withdrawal of RM100,000 monthly.

The same court allowed the relief after granting an application for an ex-parte Mareva injunction by 1MDB and one of its subsidiaries, in relation to their claim of US$681 million against Najib.

On May 10, 2021, 1MDB filed a a total of 22 civil suits against various parties, including Najib, to recover RM96.6 billion in assets.

The Finance Ministry, in a statement, said six of the 22 writs were filed by 1MDB, while the remaining 16 were by its former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The civil suits were filed as an effort by both entities to recover their assets with a combined total in excess of RM96.6 billion, including approximately RM300 million against various local parties.

The writs filed by 1MDB are against nine entities, including two foreign financial institutions and 25 individuals.

It was reported that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low had filed his defence to deny his involvement in one of the 1MDB's civil suits.

Jho Low said he did not have any position or legal standing to control 1MDB, which was fully owned by the government through the Ministry of Finance Incorporated.

His name is heavily mentioned in Najib's ongoing corruption trial involving the misappropriation of 1MDB funds.

Najib in his other criminal trial involving SRC International, contended that he did not have any knowledge of any wrongdoing and alleged it was masterminded by the rogue financier and his affiliates.

Najib is currently serving a 12- year jail sentence at the Kajang Prison for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering involving RM42 million from SRC International.

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