Zaid in bid to recover 1MDB-linked money

KUALA LUMPUR: Former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim filed a statement of claim at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to recover USD731 million and RM42 million banked into the prime minister’s accounts.

He filed the claim as a citizen and taxpayer, through lawyer Americk Sidhu’s law firm, complete with charts supporting his application.

Zaid said he was taking the action, which would benefit the second and third defendants – 1MDB and the Malaysian government – as they are not in a position to do so.

The first defendant, Najib Razak, he claimed, would not allow the second and third defendants whom he controls, to take any action against him.

“Najib as trustee of 1MDB has a duty to protect and preserve the assets of the state and not convert them for his own use.”

Zaid sought orders directing Najib to repay RM42 million to the government of Malaysia, plus compound interest at 2% per month from the date the money was first received to the date of full and final settlement.

This amount, he said, was received from SRC International and deposited in Najib’s private account and was tantamount to a breach of his fiduciary duties.

“Najib received the RM42 million, as a bribe or inducement, to use his influence over Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Retirement Fund Inc) to make a loan to SRC International,” claimed Zaid.

He also wanted orders directing Najib to repay 1MDB, the second defendant, USD731 million by way of restitution, plus 2% compound interest per month from the date when the money was first received to the date of full and final settlement.

He said the USD731 million comprised USD681 million deposited in Najib’s personal account in March 2013 before the general election that year, USD20 million that he allegedly received from Good Star Ltd, between February and June 2011, as well as USD30 million he allegedly received from Aabar BVI between October and November 2012.

Further, Zaid wanted orders directing the fourth defendant, Riza Shariz Abdul Aziz (Najib’s stepson), to repay the second defendant, 1MDB, all money he had received from it, either directly or indirectly.

He also wanted Riza Shariz to transfer all properties, movable or immovable, that he had acquired with money from 1MDB, and held under his name or held under his agents, including one Jho Low.