Hearing on govt’s bid to stop PetroSaudi from using US$340m linked to 1MDB on Sept 6-7

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE 

KUALA LUMPUR – The government’s application to block PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) and its director Tarek Obaid from using over US$340 million linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) kept in a client’s account at a United Kingdom’s law firm will be heard on Sept 6 and 7 before a new High Court judge.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh fixed the dates in his chambers when the matter came up for case management today.

The case which was previously presided by judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali was transferred before Justice Ahmad Shahrir as Mohd Nazlan was transferred from the criminal court to the civil court on March 1.

When asked on the possibility of a settlement between the government and relevant parties in the case, deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed said the talks were on-going.

Previously, the court was told that the parties were negotiating a settlement.

On July 16 last year, Justice Mohd Nazlan granted the government’s application for an interim order to block the parties from moving the monies linked to 1MDB and kept in a client’s account at the United Kingdom-based law firm, to other entities.

The interim order is to maintain the status quo of the parties until the disposal of the government’s prohibition application seeking an order to restrain any dealings on the monies belonging to PSI and PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Limited (PSOS-VZ) which are currently in an escrow account held by Clyde & Co LLP in the UK.

Besides the US$340 million, the government, in its application is also seeking unspecified money that was deposited under an intermediate account name, Temple Fiduciary Services Limited, at Barclays Bank in the UK.

The application, filed under Section 53 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA), named Tarek, PSI, PSOS-VZ, Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary as the first to fifth respondents.

On Aug 19, last year, Justice Mohd Nazlan allowed PSOS-VZ to access US$1.357 million out of the US$340 million after allowing the company’s application to amend the interim order which prohibited it from moving the monies to other entities.

PSOS-VZ sought to vary the terms of the interim order for part of the monies to be released to pay for business expenses and legal costs.

The US$1.357 million is to be paid to UK-based law firm Kerman & Co following conclusion of the arbitration by the company.