KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 13): Law firm Messrs Valen, Oh & Partners has applied to discharge itself from representing fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho's mother Puan Sri Goh Gaik Ewe in the suit filed by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its four subsidiaries.
The firm filed the application on Monday (Oct 10). Messrs Valen, Oh & Partners had previously represented Low, better known as Jho Low, and his father Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng, before discharging itself from representing the duo earlier this year, but this was after a Mareva injunction was imposed on the father and son.
During last Thursday’s (Oct 6) case management, the firm indicated to High Court senior assistant registrar Haslinda A Raof that its engagement with Goh will end, leading the firm to file the application to discharge itself on Monday.
Haslinda then on Thursday (Oct 13) fixed Oct 27 for further case management of the law firm’s application to discharge itself and to possibly fix a trial date.
She also fixed Oct 20 for case management of the disposal of the committal proceeding against Jho Low and Hock Peng, and substitute service to Jho Low’s fellow accomplice Eric Tan Kim Loong.
The committal proceeding against Jho Low and Hock Peng is scheduled for a hearing next Monday (Oct 17) before High Court judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz.
However, Jho Low and Hock Peng are not represented, while 1MDB and its four subsidiaries — 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd, 1MDB Energy (Langat) Ltd, 1MDB Energy Ltd, and Global Diversified Investment Company Ltd — are represented by Messrs Skrine led by Kumar Kanagasabai.
On March 15, Hayatul Akmal granted the ex-parte Mareva injunction against Jho Low and Hock Peng to freeze their assets, which totalled up to US$1.43 billion, and for both of them to list these assets, and give their current address to Messrs Skrine.
The injunction was upheld by the judge during another hearing on May 15 — after considering submissions from 1MDB and Global Diversified Investment Company, as well as from Jho Low and Hock Peng, who were then represented by Messrs Valen, Oh & Partners.
However, Messrs Valen, Oh & Partners was discharged last July, after getting the court’s permission. This came after its earlier bid not to act for the duo was forbidden by the court until the proper court papers were served, which it did to US law firm Kobre & Kim.
The US$1.43 billion worth of funds or assets sought in the Mareva injunction are part of the US$3.78 billion claim that 1MDB is seeking from Jho Low and his father, as well as from Goh, Jho Low's brother Taek Szen, sister May Lin, and Tan, who were named as defendants in the suit filed in May last year.
From Goh, the companies are seeking for her to return either US$1.695 million worth of jewellery or a return of that sum.
Besides seeking the return of the funds or assets, 1MDB and its subsidiaries are also seeking damages to be assessed by the court.
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