Court Throws out Najib Suit Against AmBank, Joanna Yu

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The High Court in Kuala Lumpur today struck out former prime minister Najib Razak’s suit against AmBank and Joanna Yu, which accused them of mishandling his bank accounts by disclosing transactions to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, more commonly known as Jho Low.

Judge Khadijah Idris ruled that the suit filed by Najib was scandalous, vexatious, frivolous and abuse of court process.

The judge made the ruling after allowing AmBank, AMMB Holdings Berhad and Yu as the defendants to strike out the suit filed by Najib on December 9, 2019.

“This action (suit) by the plaintiff is not to seek damages but for a collateral purpose to bolster the plaintiff’s (defence) in the SRC case and therefore an abuse of court process,” said Justice Khadijah.

The judge further said Najib) had initiated the legal suit after Yu had testified in the SRC trial and the prosecution in this case raised the point that Najib never complained, or sued AmBank or Yu over his defence that his bank accounts had been manipulated by a third party.

Yu was the 54th prosecution witness in the SRC trial.

The judge said Najib’s contention that he had only discovered the supposed manipulation during the trial was unsustainable.

“Based on these grounds, the defendants’ application to strike the suit is allowed,” the judge said.

The court ordered Najib to pay RM30,000 costs to both AmBank and RM25,000 to Yu.

Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing Najib, said the former prime minister intends to appeal.

Eizairi Shamsudin/NST

Lawyer Yoong Sin Min acted for Ambank while Gurdial Singh Nijar represented Yu.

Najib contended that AmBank and Yu had committed negligence when handling his bank accounts by disclosing them to Jho Low.

Najib said AmBank and Yu had acted without authorisation and disclosed his bank statements, debit and credit remittance transactions, and balances of funds for certain bank accounts to Low as the third party.

He accused the defendants of not engaging with him to report on Low’s action on the said bank accounts and that the bank had facilitated unauthorised third party to make money transfers.

The Pekan MP contended that he had been kept in the dark about the details of his own bank accounts statements and other related documents by the bank under Low’s instruction.

He alleged that Low, with the help of other unauthorised third parties, had made 20 transactions to regularise the accounts totalling RM12 million through several local and foreign remittances of funds and that the accounts had been ‘red-flagged’ by Bank Negara Malaysia.

The former prime minister said the defendants failed to report and get direct instructions from him, despite the accounts being red-flagged.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

Najib also said that he only discovered the acts committed by the defendants during the SRC International trial after the prosecution had revealed the conversations between Yu and the third parties.

On July 28, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali convicted and sentenced Najib to 12 years’ imprisonment and fined him RM210 million over the SRC International criminal case.