Feb 22 decision on Najib's bid for stay of SRC suit hearing

17 Feb 2022 08:03pm
Datuk Seri Najib Razak - BERNAMA Pic
Datuk Seri Najib Razak - BERNAMA Pic

KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court today has fixed Feb 22 to decide on Datuk Seri Najib Razak's application for a stay of hearing of the SRC International Sdn Bhd's US$1.18 billion civil suit against him.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin fixed the date after hearing submissions by the former premier’s counsel Harvinderjit Singh, and Datuk DP Naban who appeared for SRC, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The suit is in relation to an alleged breach of trust and breach of statutory duty involving the RM4 billion Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) loan to SRC.

During proceedings, Harvinderjit submitted that his client wants a stay of the suit, until the full disposal of the criminal cases involving RM27 million of the company's funds at the High Court, here, which was in the final stage at the Federal Court as well as three money-laundering charges involving RM27 million of the company’s funds at the High Court here.

He pointed out that the stay of these proceedings pending final resolution ought to be allowed on grounds to avoid conflicting decisions where questions or issues are in substance similar, as well as to prevent interference with pending criminal proceedings.

"(It is) also to prevent injustice to criminal proceedings - where proceeding with defence in a civil suit and disclosing defence may effect right against self-incrimination, right of silence, interfere with witnesses, and enable the prosecution to enlarge the case,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Naban who objecting to the matter said, based on his research, there were no cases reported where pending appeal criminal cases result in a stay of the civil proceedings.

"As my learned friend pointed out, he (Najib) has given evidence, he is now in the apex court (appeal) and wants to bring more evidence, so the right of silence would not be affected.

Thus, this application should be dismissed with cost,” he said.

On May 7 last year, SRC under its new management, filed legal action against Najib and its former directors Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, Datuk Mohammed Azhar Osman Khairuddin, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Datuk Che Abdullah @ Rashidi Che Omar, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi dan Tan Sri Ismee Ismail.

However, later, it removed six names from the suit and retained Najib as defendant.

SRC as a plaintiff, in the writ of summons, alleged that Najib had abused his power and obtained personal benefits from SRC funds as well as misappropriated the funds. Najib was SRC’s Emeritus Advisor from May 1, 2012, until March 4, 2019.

SRC, which is now wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc) is seeking general damages, exemplary, additional and interest, costs and other appropriate relief provided by the court.

On Dec 7 last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and 12-year jail term and RM210 million fine on Najib for misappropriating RM42 million in SRC funds after dismissing his appeal against the KL High Court decision on July 28, 2020.

On the same day, Najib filed a notice of appeal to the Federal Court. - BERNAMA

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