Putrajaya fights Umno’s bid to recover RM116.7 million

Some of the confiscated items including cash seized from properties linked to Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has filed an application to strike out a suit brought by Umno over the seizure of RM116.7 million in cash in an apartment linked to former president Najib Razak five months ago.

Federal counsel Mohammad Sallehuddin Md Ali said the application was filed as the party had no legal standing to bring the suit.

“The court has fixed another case management on Nov 1,” he told reporters after a case management before High Court deputy registrar Rumaizah Baharom.

Meanwhile, Umno’s lawyer Hariharan Tara Singh said Rumaizah also ordered the four defendants to file their affidavit-in-reply and defence.

Umno executive secretary Rauf Yusoh, who is named as plaintiff, has brought the action against the Inspector-General of Police and the Government.

Others are Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Amar Singh, CCID deputy director Mohd Sakri Arifin, and their subordinate R Rajagopal.

Sakri was the officer who led the operation to seize the money.

In his statement of claim, Rauf said Umno entrusted its president to source and manage political funding and donations for the general election.

He said only the party president had access to the election funds or full knowledge of the funds.

Rauf said that any balance of the election funds and other assets would be handed over by the outgoing Umno president to the incumbent.

He said RM160 million was entrusted to Najib and the money was the balance of election funds from the 14th general election.

He said that the police conducted a search and seizure at a luxury apartment at the Pavilion Residences here on May 17.

Rauf then added that Amar announced at a press conference on May 25, that among other items, RM114 million in cash was seized by the raiding team from the premises.

The plaintiff said on June 28, Amar announced that the amount seized was RM116.7 million and not RM114 million.

Umno is seeking, among others, a declaration that the search and seizure on the said premise is illegal; an order to return the RM116.7 million to Umno; an order to return the RM43 million being the difference between RM160 million and RM116.7 million to the party and damages.

On June 27, Amar said RM116.7 million in cash was found in the 35 bags taken from premises linked to Najib, the former prime minister.

Amar, who had been leading the police investigation into 1MDB, said the amount of money and the value of watches and jewellery seized in the police raids were worth about RM1 billion.