High Court dismisses 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against Najib, family and others

by BERNAMA

THE Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday dismissed the government’s application to forfeit luxury items seized from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (picture), his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, their children and several others.

The items, including handbags of various brands, 27 vehicles and cash of various currencies seized from Najib, Rosmah, their three children and five other respondents, were allegedly linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, in dismissing the application by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to forfeit the items, said the AGC had failed to prove the nexus between the properties seized and the unlawful activities.

“The properties seized from Najib, Rosmah, their two children, Nor Ashman Razak and Nooryana Najwa, as well as Najib’s stepson, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, were seized from premises occupied or previously occupied by them and they are in any event, from the same family.

“No evidence has been proffered to show that the properties seized from the five respondents were bought using the monies in Najib’s bank account. The applicant (AGC) had admitted that some of the properties seized were gifts,” said the judge.

Mohamed Zaini said the applicant had merely listed down the properties seized and their value and in turn concluded that the five respondents did not have the means to have such a huge amount of cash or purchase these properties based on their income, or the lack of it.

“It is apparent that the applicant had only come to this conclusion based on presumption and it is insufficient as the applicant needs to credibly prove a direct link between the monies that were allegedly illegally gained to the cash found and the properties bought,” he said.

The judge also rejected the application to forfeit a bungalow erected on two plots of land in Tanjung Bungah Park, Penang, and the money kept in three Hong Leong Bank Bhd accounts owned by the 13th respondent Puan Sri Goh Gaik Ewe, who is the mother of fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong informed the court that the AGC will be appealing against the ruling.