KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — The hearing of the government’s application to block PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI), its subsidiary PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Limited (PSOS-VZ) and Saudi national Tarek Obaid, from using over US$340 million (RM1.5 billion) linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which was kept in a client’s account at a United Kingdom law firm, has been postponed to November 23.

This came after deputy public prosecutor Norinna Bahadun informed presiding judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh that they were seeking further instructions on whether an amendment was needed in the originating summons to avoid confusion about the funds allegedly held in an escrow account managed by the UK law firm, Clyde & Co LLP.

Norinna proposed the matter after Justice Ahmad Shahrir said the provision involving the application to restrain the movement of the monies was too vague.

Justice Ahmad Shahrir had earlier pointed out that the application by the prosecution in relation to the restraining order did not specify whether it falls under Section 53(1)(a) or 53(1)(c) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001, in regards to the prohibition of dealing with properties outside of Malaysia.

Section 53(1)(a) is in relation to where the property is a matter or matters related to the commission of an offence under Section 4(1) or a terrorism financing offence, while Section 53(1)(c) mentions the circumstances in which the property is the proceeds of unlawful activity.

Counsel Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, who appeared for Obaid did not object to the matter and left it for the court to decide.

On July 16, 2020, the court granted the government’s application for an interim order to block the parties from moving the monies linked to 1MDB and kept it in a client’s account, Temple Fiduciary Services Limited in Clyde & Co.

The interim order is to maintain the status quo of the parties until the disposal of the government’s prohibition application to seek an order to restrain any dealings on the monies belonging to PSI and PSOS-VZ.

Besides the US$340 million, the government, in its application is also seeking unspecified money that was deposited under Temple Fiduciary Services, at Barclays Bank in the UK.

The application, filed under Section 53 of the AMLATFPUAA, named Obaid, PSI, PSOS-VZ, Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary as the first to fifth respondents. — Bernama