Ex-Ambank manager seeks to strike out Najib's suit against her

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): Former AmBank Islamic Bhd relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping has filed an application to strike out former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s suit against her, on grounds that this case is being used to bolster Najib’s defence in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial.

Najib is suing her over the management of accounts under his name, which were used to divert funds from SRC.

The application was filed by Yu’s lawyers, on grounds of abuse of process and collateral purpose, which they claim is a bid to bolster Najib’s other case where he is currently standing trial for corruption charges.

A copy of the court papers for the application to strike out the suit, were served to Najib’s legal team yesterday evening, according to the former premier’s lawyer Muhammad Farhan Shafee.

Yu also filed a certificate of urgency with her application, as her defence is to be heard this Friday (Jan 31).

During case management at the High Court here this morning before Justice Ahmad Kamil Shahid, Feb 4 has been set for another round of case management, where they will set a date to hear the application.

“We will be responding to her application and we seek an explanation from her on her actions,” Farhan said after the date was set.

Lawyers Samuel Tan and Jessica Ram Binwani represented AmBank and Yu respectively as defendants in the suit.

The suit was filed late last year by Najib's solicitors Messrs Shafee & Co and concerns AmBank accounts ending 694, 880, 898 and 906, which Najib claimed were managed by AmBank without his knowledge.

The writ and statement of claim filed by Najib’s lawyers claim AmBank and Yu breached their duties and were negligent in the affairs concerning the accounts, as they had disclosed information to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low), whom the suit referred to as an unauthorised third party.

This includes information on the balances of funds, details of cheques, credit and debit remittance transactions and bank account statements, as well as confirmations of cheques issued.

Najib’s statement of claim also said the bank and Yu acted on Jho Low's instructions to actively ensure the account and other banking statements were kept away from the former premier, and they failed to contact him directly to inform Jho Low was seeking disclosure of information and documents.

Regarding the 880, 898 and 906 accounts, Yu, under Jho Low's instruction, also disclosed information to “other unauthorised third parties including Kee Kok Thiam, Josie, Ung Su Ling and Jerome Lee Tak Loong”, and dealt with them despite them being unauthorised third parties, the statement claimed.

It also accused the bank of failing to notify Najib, despite the accounts being overdrawn millions of ringgit for more than 30 times, as a result of cheques issued from the accounts and due to insufficient balances at the time.

It accused AmBank and Yu of intentionally and fraudulently concealing the matters from Najib, to avoid liability and sanctions by the relevant investigating agencies.

Najib is seeking special, general, aggravated and exemplary damages, and interest on all amounts to be assessed by the court.

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