Another Mareva injunction sought against Najib to stop him from disposing of RM42 mil

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Photo by Zahid Izzani/The Edge filepix)

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Photo by Zahid Izzani/The Edge filepix)

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 22) : SRC International Sdn Bhd and its subsidiary, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, have applied for a Mareva injunction against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to stop him from transferring or dissipating of his assets amounting to RM42 million.

The application was filed on Feb 9, a day after SRC International's former parent company, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), had obtained a worldwide Mareva injunction — after an ex-parte (single party) hearing — to bar Najib from transferring or cause the dissipation of US$681 million of his assets.  

For the application by SRC and Gandingan Mentari, an inter partes hearing (hearing involving both parties) was held on Tuesday (March 22) before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohd Arief Emran Arifin via video proceeding.

Mohd Arief reserved his decision on the matter, and fixed April 27 to deliver it.

SRC and Gandingan Mentari were represented by counsel M Nagarajah, Syafinaz Vani, Clement Tay and Lisa Yong, all of them from Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership.

Harvinderjit Singh, along with Muhammad Farhan Shafee, Nur Syahirah Hanapiah, Harvinder Singh Sidhu and Thilagan Mehanathan, appeared for Najib.

In submissions sighted by The Edge, SRC and Gandingan Mentari claimed there was no valid reason for Najib to receive the RM42 million, which is said to be part of the disbursement grant from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) that was deposited in the former premier's AmBank Islamic account for him to use for corporate social responsibility purposes.

SRC conviction cited as grounds to seek injunction

The suit against Najib was for breach of fiduciary duties, knowing receipt of the funds, dishonest assistance, tort of misfeasance and abuse of power.

It was submitted that Najib had been convicted on July 28, 2020, by the High Court for abuse of power with regards to the RM4 billion KWAP loan and three counts each of criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42 million.

His conviction and sentence (12 years' jail and RM210 million fine) was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8, 2021. Najib is awaiting his final appeal before the Federal Court.

SRC and Gandingan Mentari also submitted that as Najib had yet to file his defence to the suit filed in May last year, the balance of convenience in imposing the Mareva injunction should be with the two companies.

In addition, they said that as RM114 million of assets were already returned in the failed forfeiture over the police raid conducted at the Pavilion condominium in May 2018, the court should prevent further dissipation of unlawful assets said to be owned by Najib until the conclusion of the hearing of the suit.

Meanwhile, Najib's lawyers in submissions sighted by The Edge, questioned the inordinate delay by SRC and Gandingan Mentari in filing the application as the former premier is already facing various criminal and civil suits in court.

The lawyers also argued that to further restrain Najib from dealing with his assets would severely prejudice him with regards to his rights to counsel and ability to defend himself.

They also claimed that while the two companies are allowing RM50,000 a month to be given to Najib, an injunction will further restrain his right to defend himself in his ongoing court proceedings.

“Hence, the balance of convenience in not granting the Mareva injunction lies with the defendant,” they argued.

Read also: 
1MDB, subsidiaries obtain Mareva injunction to freeze Najib's assets, allows ex-PM to withdraw maximum RM100,000/month from bank accounts

S Kanagaraju