Judge discharges himself from OBYU, Najib, Rosmah, Umno, Global Royalty forfeiture case

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 1): High Court Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah has discharged himself from hearing the forfeiture case involving the public prosecutor and OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Umno and Lebanese jeweller Global Royalty SAL, which wanted to intervene and be a third party in the matter.

He made the decision after meeting the lawyers for all parties today in his chambers.

Justice Sequerah's decision stems from the fact that he is also presiding in Najib's 1Malaysia Development Bhd-Tanore trial.

Deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) Fatnin Yusof and Muhammad Shukri Hussain, lawyer Datuk David Gurupatham, who is acting for Global Royalty SAL, and OBYU counsel Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden, who appeared together with Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and Datuk Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, confirmed the judge's recusal when met separately.

Najib and Rosmah were represented by Syahirah Hanafiah.

Najib, Rosmah and Umno had already indicated at the last session that they wanted to be included as third-party respondents in the suit, while Global Royalty also wanted to intervene.

Global Royalty, along with Najib and Rosmah, has applied to inspect close to 12,000 pieces of jewellery seized in the forfeiture against OBYU in May.

This follows the police and authorities' mass operation to seize the valuable items including cash and jewellery said to be worth RM680 million.

Global Royalty claimed it had sent 44 pieces of jewellery worth US$14.79 million in February last year to Rosmah, which she claimed had been seized by the authorities. Najib and Rosmah claims part of the items seized contains their personal and their children's belongings.

It was reported that Global Royalty withdrew its suit against Rosmah on Oct 22, as it wanted to concentrate on the matter with OBYU following the seizure of close to 12,000 pieces of jewellery.

OBYU claimed that those items seized are not theirs as they only own the property where the items were seized.

After Justice Sequerah discharged himself, a case management date has been fixed on Dec 9 before a registrar.

On another related matter, DPP Mahadi Abdul Jumaat told reporters that the prosecution has yet to decide on a representation sent by Sarawakian businessman Tan Sri Bustari Yusuf over a forfeiture claim of RM11.9 million from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Mahadi said a decision cannot be made as Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas is presently overseas.

"A decision is expected to be made (on the representation) on Nov 15," he said.

Hisyam, Yusof and Kamarul Hisham appeared for Bustari.

The forfeiture on OBYU is an action done by the police, while the one against Bustari is done by the MACC.

All in all, the police is seeking the forfeiture of RM680 million worth of assets seized from the OBYU property at Pavilion Residences in Bukit Bintang, while the MACC is seeking RM11.9 million from Bustari, who is the controlling shareholder of OBYU and said to be close to Najib.

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