Pekan Umno in bid to annul govt’s forfeiture suit

Lawyer M Reza Hassan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pekan Umno is seeking to strike out the government’s forfeiture suit against it over funds allegedly from 1MDB which were deposited into its bank account.

Lawyers M Reza Hassan and Amin Othman, representing Pekan Umno, told the High Court here that they want to strike out the suit on grounds of procedural error.

Reza said the court should hear their striking-out application before allowing the government to publish a third-party notice calling interested parties to contest the suit.

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said he would hear Pekan Umno’s application to strike out the forfeiture suit on July 26.

The application of Pekan Umno member Ibrahim Awang Ismail, who is also seeking to annul the suit against him, will be heard on Aug 2.

The government is seeking to forfeit RM700,000 from Pekan Umno and RM100,000 from Ismail.

Amin, who is also representing the Yayasan Rahah organisation, told the court that a letter had been sent to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Tuesday as part of efforts to settle the suit.

Lawyer Amin Othman.

Deputy public prosecutor Nik Haslinie Hashim said she would have to seek instructions from MACC regarding the proposed settlement.

She said Maran MP Ismail Mutalib, another individual accused of receiving 1MDB funds, had also written a letter saying he has no objection to the forfeiture suit.

Ismail was said to have received RM100,000 from 1MDB. Neither he nor his lawyer were present in court today.

Nik Haslinie said the prosecution is seeking a court order allowing them to gazette a third-party notice for interested parties to contest the suit.

“We will proceed to forfeit his assets if he does not show up the next day,” she said when asked by Nazlan about the prosecution’s next step in Ismail’s suit.

The court also allowed the prosecution to publish third-party notices for interested individuals to contest the suits against Kedah Umno, SUPP and Habib Jewels. Next mention is on Sept 13.

Last month, MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the agency had filed 41 forfeiture lawsuits against various individuals and organisations over funds allegedly channelled from former prime minister Najib Razak’s bank account.

The government is seeking to recover a total of RM270 million from them.