Umno allowed access to RM192.9m following court order, withdraws contempt bid against CIMB

The Umno logo is seen at PWTC, Kuala Lumpur June 18, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
The Umno logo is seen at PWTC, Kuala Lumpur June 18, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Umno has withdrawn its application for leave to cite CIMB Bank for contempt over the return of RM192.9 million linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) allegedly received from Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Malaysiakini reported that Umno’s lawyer Tania Scivetti told the High Court of their intention to withdraw the contempt action.

“We have instructions to withdraw the contempt proceedings (against CIMB Bank),” Scivetti was quoted as saying in an open-court proceeding before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.  

Zaini allowed the withdrawal application.

The withdrawal followed the decision by the Court of Appeal on July 3 which denied the prosecution’s application to temporarily stay the return of the sum to Umno.

The prosecution had sought the stay, pending its related appeal at the Court of Appeal against a February  7 Kuala Lumpur High Court order to dismiss the RM192.9 million forfeiture suit against Umno. 

The prosecution’s appeal in the 1MDB-linked forfeiture suits against Umno would be heard by the Court of Appeal on August 25.

On July 2, Umno filed an application to initiate contempt proceedings against CIMB Bank, as the bank has not released the political party’s RM192 million despite an order from the High Court, last month for the immediate release of the monies.

On June 19, the court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove on the balance of probability that the money came from 1MDB.

During proceedings before Zaini this morning, CIMB Bank’s lawyer, Rabindra Nathan explained to the court that the commercial bank has already allowed Umno access to its account around 2.22pm last Friday.

Rabindra also applied to withdraw its related clarification application over whether the bank could legally return the RM192.9 million to Umno. The court allowed the application.

When met after proceedings, Scivetti said Umno had sought to withdraw the contempt application following the Court of Appeal ruling on Friday last week.

She confirmed that as a result, Umno was granted access to its bank account containing the aforementioned RM192.9 million since 2.22pm last Friday.

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