Court throws out 1MDB forfeiture suits, Umno keeps RM213m

Umno, in its submission, stated that the RM212.97 million was spent during the past general elections, among other political activities. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Umno, in its submission, stated that the RM212.97 million was spent during the past general elections, among other political activities. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — The Kuala Lumpur High Court today dismissed the government’s bid to forfeit RM212.97 million in alleged 1MDB-linked funds from Umno.

Malaysiakini reported that Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed the forfeiture suit during open-court proceedings this morning and ruled that the remaining money left in Umno’s bank account as of May 2019 is not linked to any funds allegedly deposited by its then-president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“There is nothing left of the money deposited by DSNR (Najib) in the (Umno) account,” he was reported as saying by Malaysiakini, adding that the RM212.97 million has long been spent.

Umno, in its submission, stated that the RM212.97 million was spent during the past general elections, among other political activities.

Umno was among 41 entities and individuals who were hit with forfeiture suits from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to recover a total RM270 million of monies allegedly linked to 1MDB.

In the same proceedings, Zaini also denied the government’s suits to forfeit alleged 1MDB-linked funds from Wanita MCA, Perano Sdn Bhd and Binsabi Sdn Bhd.

The amounts stated in the forfeiture suits are RM300,000, RM337,634.78 and RM827,250 from Wanita MCA, Perano and Binsabi, respectively.

Zaini then ordered that the government to release all the accounts it froze for the investigation, but deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat applied verbally for a stay of this order pending appeal.

The respondents’ lawyers objected, with Umno’s lead counsel Hariharan Tara Singh arguing that the country’s oldest party needed liquidity to continue its political activities.

The judge allowed Mahadi’s application but directed the prosecution to file for a formal stay of execution and notice of appeal as soon as possible.

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