Najib Razak is facing bad days in his defence in the 1MDB scandal and yesterday, the Malaysian government succeeded in its appeal in London against attempts to block Malaysia’s move to seek the recovery of US$3.5 billion (RM14.7 billion) that was paid by 1DMB subsidiaries to an Abu Dhabi outfit, the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and subsidiaries.
The Appeal Court has now reversed the London Court’s decision to delay Putrajaya’s legal challenge to nullify a consent award involving 1MDB, the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc) and two Abu Dhabi-based companies as part of its efforts to recover siphoned money.
Both 1MDB and MoF Inc had filed an application in the Commercial Court in London in October last year to challenge a consent award that the two Malaysian parties had recorded under the previous administration in May 2017 with IPIC and Aabar Investments PJS.
Malaysia’s Attorney General Tommy Thomas said the Court of Appeal in London overturned a decision of the High Court of England, which had stopped the court application by 1MDB and Mof Inc to set aside the consent award entered by former premier Najib Razak’s administration with the Abu Dhabi entities.
“As a result of the Court of Appeal’s decision, 1MDB and MoF Inc application to set aside the consent award will now proceed to a hearing at the London High Court.
“The Court of Appeal also ordered that the parallel arbitration proceedings commenced by IPIC and Aabar be restrained,” he said in a statement Tuesday (Nov 26).
In October, the AG said the consent award was to conclude the arbitration proceedings that IPIC and Aabar had commenced against the two Malaysian parties before the London Court of International Arbitration tribunal in 2016.
“Our challenge is brought on grounds, among others, of fraud and public policy.
“In response, both IPIC and Aabar have applied to strike out or stay this application by 1MDB and MoF Inc, and commenced a separate arbitration proceeding against 1MDB and MoF Inc,” he then said.
Thomas also said under the consent award, Malaysia was obliged to pay US$5.78 billion (RM24.25 billion) to IPIC and the bond trustee over a five-year period.
He said this is part of the Malaysian government’s effort to bring the perpetrators in the 1MDB case to justice, but also said it is a complex and challenging task as the transactions have been carried out over several jurisdictions and involve many persons and entities.
“Billions of dollars of taxpayer monies have been misappropriated in the course of the 1MDB scandal in what has been described as the greatest kleptocracy in modern history.
“The Malaysian government is committed, in the public interest, to set this right and will unrelentingly pursue those who are responsible for this grievous injustice,” he added. -/TISG