KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 8): The prosecution has failed to forfeit seized assets of Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his family, with the court saying that there were no credible attempts made to show that the properties seized were bought using monies in the former prime minister's accounts.
High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan dismissed the forfeiture against the former premier, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the pair's children Nooryana Najwa Najib and Nor Ashman Najib, and Rosmah’s other son Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz.
“There were no credible attempts made to show the nexus between the properties seized and the unlawful activities. No evidence has been proffered to show that the properties seized were bought using the monies in Najib’s bank accounts.
“The applicant merely listed down the properties seized and their value, and in turn concluded that these respondents did not have the means to have such huge amounts of cash or purchase these properties with their income, or the lack of it,” he said.
Likewise, the forfeiture of the properties of Jho Low’s mother Puan Sri Goh Gaik Ewe — concerning monies in three Hong Leong Bank accounts and a bungalow in Penang — and Ng and his wife — concerning monies held in seven bank accounts — were also dismissed by Justice Zaini.
“The prosecution had merely shown monies credited into the bank accounts but did not provide any evidence of how these bank accounts were related to, or used for, the commission of the unlawful activities.
“The prosecution also did not offer any evidence to show how the monies deposited in these bank accounts were linked to any illegal transactions or that they were proceeds of the unlawful activities,” he added.
Justice Zaini also dismissed the forfeiture of Nissan vehicles belonging to Senijauhar Sdn Bhd and Aiman Ruslan, which were allegedly purchased with unlawful monies as the prosecution failed to show a direct nexus.
On the other hand, Justice Zaini allowed the forfeiture actions against the respondents who did not contest against the applications, namely Mohd Kyizzad Mesran, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, Yayasan Semesta, Yayasan Mustika Kasih and Rembulan Kembara Sdn Bhd.
“The allegations against these respondents are deemed to be admitted as they have not been contested. The prosecution’s applications in respect to their properties are therefore allowed,” he said.
The properties of the respondents who did not contest the forfeiture included 40 handbags and the monies in their bank accounts.
Additionally, the High Court judge also allowed the forfeiture of the assets of the respondents who had absconded from Malaysia, namely former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) officers Kee Kok Thiam, Tan Vern Tact and Geh Choh Hun.
“I have considered the uncontroverted deferments in the applicant’s affidavit pertaining to these respondents, and then satisfied on the balance of probabilities that these respondents have absconded and that the unrebutted evidence would warrant their conviction.
“The applicant’s applications to forfeit the properties belonging to these respondents are therefore allowed,” Justice Zaini said.
Among the seized items were 263 branded handbags, 14 pieces of branded watches, 27 pairs of branded shoes, monies in various amounts in banks, cash in various denominations including some RM725,000, Goh’s Tanjung Bungah bungalow in Penang, 26 Nissan Urvan vehicles and a Nissan X-Trail, all said to be worth in excess of RM31 million.
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