PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and two others succeeded in their application to strike out a lawsuit filed against them by 10 Gerakan Anak Muda Tolak Najib (GANT1) members over payments by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
This followed a decision by the Court of Appeal in allowing the appeal by Najib, 1MDB and the government against a High Court’s decision in dismissing their application to strike out the lawsuit.
A Court of Appeal three-man bench, comprising Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, Tan Sri Idrus Harus and Datuk Kamardin Hashim, unanimously allowed theappeal and set a side the High Court decision, made on Jan 9 this year.
Justice Ahmadi. who led the bench, said all the respondents (GANT1) had no locus standi to bring the action to the court on behalf of Malaysian citizens.
“The respondents are not parties in the consent award at the London Court of International Arbitration between 1MDB and IPIC,” he said.
The judge also said that the Malaysian government could not be brought to court under Section 4 of the Government Proceeding Act 1956.
On July 11 last year, GANT1, headed by Parti Amanah Negara Youth deputy chief Muhammad Faiz Fadzil and nine other individuals, filed the lawsuit against Najib, 1MDB and the Malaysian government.
The lawsuit was over a consent award at the London Court of International Arbitration entered by 1MDB with IPIC concerning 1MDB’s alleged USD$3.5 billion bond assistance from IPIC and its subsidiary Aabar Investment PJS (Aabar Asli) for the purchase of an energy plant.
In their statement of claim, the GANT1 members claimed that IPIC and Aabar Asli, on June 14, 2016, brought their case to the London Court of International Arbitration against 1MDB and the government relating to a US$6.5 billion claim for 1MDB’s failure to honour the contract.
The GANT1 members are seeking, among others, a declaration that the settlement agreement and consent award signed in London were null and void.
Counsel Datuk Wira Hafarizam Harun, representent Najib, while senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching acted on behalf of the government and lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan represented 1MDB.
The GANT1 members were represented by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla.
Meanwhile, Hafarizam, when met by reporters, said today’s decision was in line with the court’s principles.
For the record, there have been three basically similar cases and all were thrown out by the court, he added. – BERNAMA