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Court throws out Najib’s suit against bank over transactions with Jho Low

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

The High Court has today struck out Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s suit against AmBank and its former relationship manager, Joanna Yu Ging Ping for allegedly mishandling his bank accounts by disclosing transactions to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Judge Datuk Khadijah Idris ruled that the suit filed by Najib was scandalous, vexatious, frivolous and abuse of court process.

The judge made the ruling after allowing AmBank, AMMB Holdings Berhad and Yu as the defendants to strike out the suit filed by Najib on Dec 9, last year.

Justice Khadijah said Najib’s legal suit against the three defendants was an abuse of the court process as he made for a collateral purpose on his criminal trial in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

“This action (suit) by the plaintiff is not to seek damages but for a collateral purpose to bolster the plaintiff’s (defence) in the SRC case and therefore an abuse of court process,” she said.

The judge further said the plaintiff (Najib) had initiated the legal suit after Yu had testified in the SRC trial and when the prosecution in the had case raised that he (Najib) never complained or sued the defendants (Yu and AmBank) over the alleged manipulation of his bank accounts by a third party.

Yu was the 54th prosecution witness in the SRC trial.

The judge said the plaintiff’s contention that he had only discovered about the fact of the manipulation of his accounts by Yu, during the trial, was unsustainable.

“Based on these grounds the defendants’ application to strike the suit is allowed,” the judge said.

The court ordered Najib to pay costs of RM30,000 to both AmBank entities and RM25,000 costs to Yu.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who represented Najib said he will file an appeal against today’s verdict.

Lawyer Yoong Sin Min acted for Ambank while Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar represented Yu.

Najib in his statement of claim, contended that AmBank and Yu had committed negligence when handling his bank accounts (ending with 694, 880, 898 and 906) by disclosing them to Jho Low.

Najib claimed that the defendants without authorisation had disclosed his bank statements, debit and credit remittance transactions, and balances of funds of account 694 to Low as the third party.

He claimed that the defendants did not engage with him to report on Low’s action on the said bank accounts and that the bank had facilitated unauthorised third party to make money transfers between accounts 880, 898 and 906.

The Pekan Member of Parliament contended that he had been kept in the dark about the details of his own bank accounts statements and other related documents by the bank under Low’s instruction.

He alleged that Low with the help of other unauthorised third parties, had made 20 transactions to regularise the accounts totalling RM12 million through several local and foreign remittances of funds and that the accounts had been ‘red-flagged’ by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The former prime minister said the defendants failed to report and get direct instructions from him despite the accounts being red-flagged.

Najib also claimed that he only discovered the acts committed by the defendants during the SRC International trial after the prosecution had revealed the conversations between Yu and the third parties.

He is seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages from the defendants.

On July 28, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali convicted and sentenced Najib to 12 years’ imprisonment and fined him RM210 million over the SRC International criminal case.

Dayang Norazhar

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