Umno seeks contempt proceedings against bank over court order on 1MDB funds

Lawyers Hariharan Tara Singh (right) and Tania Scivetti representing Umno in the government’s forfeiture application against the party to recover more than RM192 million of alleged 1MDB funds.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has filed an application for an order to initiate contempt proceedings against a bank for allegedly disobeying a court ruling.

The party’s lawyer Hariharan Tara Singh said CIMB Bank had not complied with a June 19 ruling in which the High Court dismissed the prosecution’s attempt to stay the decision on a forfeiture application.

The prosecution had sought to recover more than RM192 million which it said were 1MDB funds received in 2013.

The court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove on the balance of probability that the money came from 1MDB.

“The court has not heard our leave application to initiate contempt proceedings today pending the prosecution’s new attempt to stay the June 19 decision at the Court of Appeal tomorrow,” Hariharan told reporters after case mention before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

During mention, CIMB lawyer Rabindra Nathan said they wished to clarify the High Court’s order on the prosecution’s forfeiture application against Umno.

“We were not previously party to the forfeiture,” he said. “We were actually happy to release the money back to them, but MACC (the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) took the position that they had filed an appeal.

“So we are caught between a rock and a hard place.”

Deputy public prosecutor Roslan Mat Nor however said the prosecution had no qualms about CIMB releasing the money for Umno.

“The court’s decision is clear, which is to release the frozen money immediately,” he said.

Zaini then said he would adjourn the bid for contempt proceedings to June 6 as the Court of Appeal had fixed tomorrow for the hearing to stay his decision.

“Let the prosecution and defence settle their stay in the Court of Appeal tomorrow, then it will be clearer,” he added.

Hariharan also said the Court of Appeal had set Aug 25 to hear the prosecution’s appeal against the dismissal of the main forfeiture application.

MACC is seeking to recover RM270 million from 41 individuals and organisations in funds allegedly channelled from Najib Razak‘s account.

MACC also issued compounds to recover RM420 million worth of alleged 1MDB money channelled to 80 individuals and organisations.

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