KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his family can carry out a physical inspection on items allegedly purchased using funds siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which were seized from them shortly after the 14th General Election.
This was after High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan allowed their application for permission to examine the valuables for them to prepare their defence in the forfeiture suit filed against them by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
The application was filed by the former prime minister, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and their daughter Nooryana Najwa over hundreds of items seized from three premises linked to them by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“I am of the view that the applicants should be given the opportunity to inspect the goods seized.
“My primary consideration is to enable the applicants the opportunity to ventilate their defence in respect of the respondents’ forfeiture application and this can only be done if they are given the right to inspect the goods seized.
“I am unable to fathom as to how the removal of these goods can result in their deterioration,” the judge said.
Zaini had also in his judgement said the prosecution’s concern over security could easily be allayed by ensuring the inspection be done in a premise controlled by them (prosecution) with the necessary security measures.
The judge had also set specific conditions to his order on the inspection. First, he said the inspection must be conducted in a premise designated by the respondent.
Secondly, that only the applicants are allowed to inspect the items under supervision of the respondent’s personnel.
Thirdly, he ordered for the inspection to be done only once and that it be done within two weeks from today (Monday) and finally, he said the applicants can file their affidavits in respect of the forfeiture proceedings if they wish to do so by March 2.
He also added another condition which is to allow a solicitor to accompany each of the applicants during the inspection.
Deputy public prosecutors Fatnin Yusof and Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong prosecuted.
Counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah represented Najib while Rosmah and Nooryana were represented by Iskandar Shah Ibrahim, Azamuddin Abd Aziz, Azrul Zulkifli Stork and Asmadi Hussin.
Last Friday, Fatnin objected to the discovery application by the family on grounds of security and that it would open the flood gates to other forfeiture and money laundering cases since there was no legal precedence which has allowed it.
On Oct 14 last year, the prosecution agreed to provide copies of photographs of the 315 handbags of various brands and cash in various currencies that were seized from Najib and his family.
Najib, 67, on July 18 filed a notice of motion to be allowed to physically inspect and obtain particulars of the said valuables, as the pictures provided by the prosecution were “not clear”.
In a notice of motion, Najib had sought for the prosecution to provide or supply colour pictures of the items, as well as their detailed descriptions, such as the label, symbol, gift card, package and box of the movable properties that were seized on May 17, 2018.
He had filed the application on the grounds that parts of the boxes, handbags and containers that were seized had been removed from their original wrappings, and this had caused confusion in the identification process.
Rosmah, 69, and Nooryana, 32, are also seeking permission to physically inspect the items.
Among the items mentioned in the notice are 315 handbags of various luxury brands, 14 watches and 27 pairs of shoes of various brands, as well as cash in various currencies, including RM537,000, £2,700, 2,870,000 Sri Lanka rupees, and RM187,750 and £320,500 in old notes.