Hearing of bid to freeze alleged 1MDB funds postponed after ‘new developments’

The government is seeking to freeze more than US$340 million allegedly linked to 1MDB kept in a UK law firm. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The hearing over the government’s attempt to freeze more than US$340 million of alleged 1MDB funds kept in a UK law firm has been pushed back to Nov 10 after the High Court was told that there were new developments.

The hearing was scheduled to be held on Monday.

Lawyer Alex Tan, representing Petro Saudi International’s South American subsidiary company, PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd, told the court today that “there are some developments” in the case.

“On behalf of the company, there is a need to review our position and seek further instructions,” he said.

Counsel Yusof Zainal Abiden, appearing for Petro Saudi director Tarek Obaid in this prohibition hearing, said he was also taking the same position as “the developments also involve my client”.

Deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed said the prosecution did not have a problem with the request.

To that, trial judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali said he would hear the prohibition order application next month.

The prosecution is contending that the US$340,258,246.87 in Clyde & Co LLP belonging to PetroSaudi and its subsidiary company was gained through unlawful activities.

The government is also seeking to bar the use of an undisclosed sum kept in a bank account under the name Temple Fiduciary Services Ltd.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Afiq Abdul Aziz, in his affidavit to support the application, claimed the money was related to a conspiracy to defraud 1MDB involving Tarek, fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho and former prime minister Najib Razak.

The court previously granted a temporary order restraining PetroSaudi International and Tarek from using the said 1MDB funds, pending the disposal of the government’s bid to obtain the prohibition order.