Zaid wants Ambank to disclose details of Najib’s accounts

Ambank-Islamic-BhdKUALA LUMPUR: Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has filed a suit to compel Ambank Islamic Bhd to disclose the details pertaining to the RM2.6 billion donation and another RM42 million believed to have been deposited into five bank accounts belonging to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Zaid also wants the bank to reveal sources of incoming funds and the recipients of payments made from the time the accounts were opened until they were closed on Sept 30 this year.

The former Umno leader, who filed the action last month on behalf of Malaysian citizens and taxpayers, said he also wanted the bank to provide copies of bank statements of the accounts from the date they were opened and closed.

In his affidavit in support of the action, Zaid said he wanted the bank, formerly known as AmIslamic Bank Bhd, to make the disclosure under the Bankers Books Evidence Act 1949.

Zaid, represented by Americk Sidhu, said he needed the information in support of his suit in another case against Najib, 1MDB, the Malaysian government and Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz.

On Aug 17, Zaid filed the action to recover US$731 million and RM42 million banked into the prime minister’s accounts.

According to Zaid, US$50 million was deposited into the accounts between February 2011 and November 2012 while US$681 million in March 2013.

However, the US$681 million is widely known as a donation of RM2.6 billion based on the exchange rate at that time.

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

The first defendant, Najib , 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,” he said in the statement of claim.

Zaid sought orders directing Najib to repay RM42 million to the government of Malaysia, plus compound interest at two per cent 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 into Najib’s private account and was tantamount to a breach of his fiduciary duties.

He also wanted orders directing Najib to repay 1MDB, the second defendant, US$731 million by way of restitution, plus two per cent compound interest per month from the date when the money was first received to the date of full and final settlement.

He said the US$731 million comprised US$681 million deposited into Najib’s personal account in March 2013 before the general election that year, US$20 million that he allegedly received from Good Star Ltd between February and June 2011, as well as US$30 million he allegedly received from Aabar BVI between October and November 2012.

Further, Zaid wanted orders directing the fourth defendant, Riza Aziz, to repay the second defendant, 1MDB, all monies he had received from it, either directly or indirectly.

He also wanted Riza Aziz 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’ name, including businessman Low Taek Jho.

Earlier today, Justice S Nantha Balan, who heard the matter in chambers, recused himself and transferred the case to be heard before Justice Noraini Abdul Rahman.

Although Najib was not named as party in the action against the bank, lawyer Rishvant Singh, who represented the prime minister, said his client’s interest was affected in this case.

Rishwant informed Nantha Balan that lawyer Cecil Abraham was the lead counsel for Najib and he might not be able to appear before the judge (Nantha Balan).

It is learnt that Abraham and Nantha Balan were once lawyers from the same legal firm before the latter was elevated to the bench.