KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has sought to introduce a report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as new evidence to persuade the courts to allow his lawsuit against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to go on, his lawyer confirmed.
Lawyer Americk Sidhu said his client Zaid had on July 18 filed the application to bring in the report by the Public Accounts Committee — which is a bipartisan parliamentary watchdog — as “fresh evidence”.
“We want to introduce that in the appeal,” Americk told Malay Mail when contacted today, noting that the application to introduce the new evidence came up for case management today at the Court of Appeal.
“Whatever has been classified and declassified, those are the documents we want to include for the appeal,” he said.
Last November 23, the High Court had struck out Zaid’s lawsuit against Najib for the recovery of RM2.6 billion allegedly from 1MDB and RM42 million allegedly from former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd that were purportedly channelled to Najib’s bank accounts.
Also named in the lawsuit filed by Zaid in August 2016 on behalf of Malaysia’ citizens and taxpayers are 1MDB, the government of Malaysia and Najib’s stepson Riza Shariz Abdul Aziz.
The High Court had struck out Zaid’s lawsuit for various reasons, including reportedly his lack of legal standing as he was not a 1MDB agent or shareholder, and lack of details in his court documents.
Zaid is now appealing against the High Court’s decision to strike out his lawsuit.
Today, Americk said the case will come up next month at the Court of Appeal for further case management.
“The case has been fixed for case management on August 9 because the 1MDB lawyers discharged themselves from acting.
“So we told the Court of Appeal, we should adjourn the matter while 1MDB goes and find new lawyers,” he said.
When asked why Zaid was applying to bring in the PAC report as fresh evidence, Americk said this was due to the report having details on 1MDB “which have not been available to us in the past and details the court ought to take cognisance of as well”.
“Because this was not before the High Court and if it was before the High Court, the decision may have been different,” he added.
According to Zaid’s application sighted by Malay Mail, he asked the Court of Appeal for leave to introduce the April 7, 2016 “Public Accounts Committee (PAC)’s Report on Governance Management Control 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)” as further evidence.
The PAC report was previously tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2016, while the Auditor-General’s final audit report on 1MDB was sealed under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) since January 2016 was only declassified in May this year under the Pakatan Harapan government.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB and has also denied stealing 1MDB funds.