KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court has rejected the government’s application to forfeit the luxury items seized from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor that were allegedly related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
The forfeiture suit also involved several other individuals such as Najib’s stepson, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz; the couple’s children, Nor Ashman Razak and Nooryana Najwa, along with other individuals and entities.
High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said that the government has failed to prove that the luxury items seized were related to the misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
“This forfeiture suit requires more documents and evidences to strengthen the case and charges.
“The appellant has failed several times in identifying the source of their information. On the contrary, they have made conclusion, to me, that is insufficient for this request, such as the investigation on the cashflow of the respondents’ accounts is insufficient.
“Although there is a huge sum of money in the first respondent’s account, it was merely based on suspicion, without sufficient evidence, if the respondent committed the offence or not as the trial is still ongoing. I reject the forfeiture request,” he said today.
On 8 May 2019, the Attorney-General’s Chamber, filed a notice to motion for the forfeiture of hundreds of luxury goods, including luxury handbags of various brands and 27 vehicles confiscated from Najib, Rosmah, their three children, 13 other individuals and companies allegedly related to 1MDB scandal.
Besides that, the authorities also froze more than RM18 million in several bank accounts from Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, Al-Rajhi Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, AmBank Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd between 16 August 2018 and 11 March 2019.
The prosecution named Najib, Rosmah, Nor Ashman, Riza Aziz, Nooryana, Mohd Kyizzad Mesran, Senijauhar Sdn Bhd, Aiman Ruslan, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta, Yayasan Mustika Kasih; Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd, Goh Gaik Ewe, Roger Ng Chong Hwa (former Goldman Sachs banker), his wife, Lim Hwee Bin, Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun as the respondents.
Among the items seized by the police on 17 May 2018 were 52 luxury handbags, 10 luxury watches, cash amounting to RM537,000, foreign currencies consisting of 2,700 Pound Sterling, 2,870,000 Sri Lanka Rupee, RM187,750, 320,500 Pound Sterling, 13,177,000 Rupiah, US$100, 376 Hryvnies (Ukraine), 20 Euro, France 50, 10 South African Rand, S$40, 531 Riyal, 740 Philippines Pesos and RM21,150 (new notes).
Meanwhile, on 11 June 2018, they seized four luxury watches, 167 luxury handbags and 27 pairs of shoes.
On 2 August 2018, 27 Nissan cars and a piece of land in Tanjung Bungah, Penang were seized. -MalaysiaGazette