Legal firm objects to Zaid Ibrahim’s application to seek documents, says not entitled to them

Mohd Zaid filed the discovery application to obtain the documents from the firm’s executive chairman Datuk Seri Nik Norzrul Thani Nik Hassan Thani, its former managing partner Chew Seng Kok and also the firm relating to his (Mohd Zaid) suit against Zico. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Mohd Zaid filed the discovery application to obtain the documents from the firm’s executive chairman Datuk Seri Nik Norzrul Thani Nik Hassan Thani, its former managing partner Chew Seng Kok and also the firm relating to his (Mohd Zaid) suit against Zico. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Legal firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co (Zico) has objected to the discovery application by former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim seeking for documents from the law firm, saying that the latter was not entitled to these documents.

Mohd Zaid filed the discovery application to obtain the documents from the firm’s executive chairman Datuk Seri Nik Norzrul Thani Nik Hassan Thani, its former managing partner Chew Seng Kok and also the firm relating to his (Mohd Zaid) suit against Zico.

Zico’s counsel Tan Sri Tommy Thomas submitted that the documents are already in Mohd Zaid’s possession and he cannot ask the legal firm to produce it to him.

“Our stand is, we say these documents the plaintiff (Mohd Zaid) sought for, are in his possession and he cannot come back and ask us to produce it,” he said during the hearing of Mohd Zaid’s discovery application before High Court Judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir.

Thomas, who also appeared for Nik Norzrul Thani and Chew as defendants further said Mohd Zaid is seeking for the discovery before the commencement of proceeding of the first suit and this court must find whether the discovery is necessary at this stage.

“He (Mohd Zaid) has already filed the suit and he had amended the statement of claim. There is no reason why he filed a discovery separately,” he said.

Thomas told the court that Mohd Zaid’s claim that he still has 5 per cent equity in Zico is deemed illegal because after Mohd Zaid was appointed as a minister in 2008, the law on equity does not allow him to continue holding any shares in his old firm.

“When he left the firm in 2008, he was paid handsomely. He has not been a member of the Bar between 2008 and 2017,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Zaid’s counsel Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said the discovery application is not a fishing expedition as claimed by Zico and the cause of action in today’s discovery application is different from the first civil action.

Malik Imtiaz said certain documents were not given to Mohd Zaid and that his client is entitled to get them through this application.

Justice Akhtar then asked both parties to file in additional submissions on April 27 to address issues on the five per cent equity and why the discovery application was made in this court instead of Justice Datuk Ahmad Bache’s court, where Mohd Zaid’s present suit is schedule to be heard.

He fixed May 10 to deliver his decision via Zoom application.

Mohd Zaid filed the discovery application in December, last year, seeking for his former partners and Singapore-based Zico Holdings Inc to disclose documents which were relevant to his suit.

On November 24, last year Mohd Zaid Ibrahim filed the writ of summons and statement of claim against Zico to stop the firm from using his name in legal practice and to demand the return of the firm’s name.

 

The hearing of the firm’s application to strike out the suit before judge Ahmad has been fixed on May 10, the same day as the decision of the discovery application. — Bernama

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