Lawyer to Najib: Why Didn’t You Sue AmBank in 2016 After AG’s Exoneration?

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If the then attorney-general in 2016 had exonerated Najib Abdul Razak of alleged wrongful monetary flows into the former premier’s Ambank accounts, why didn’t he sue the bank and its relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping then, a lawyer posed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

Counsel for Yu, Gurdial Singh Nijar submitted this before the court this afternoon during the hearing for his client’s application to strike out Najib’s lawsuit against her for alleged mismanagement of his Ambank accounts.

“In 2016, the then attorney-general (Mohamed Apandi Ali) exonerated (Najib of alleged wrongdoing over the millions of ringgit which flowed into his Ambank accounts).

“If in 2016, they (Najib’s legal team) knew that the accounts were being manipulated, why didn’t they file any (legal) action against Joanna Yu and AmBank for going against Amla (Anti-Money Laundering Act)?

“(Hypothetically) they should have done it then as it was the time he (Najib) was exonerated, but they did not.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

“They (Najib’s legal team) only instituted the action after the 14th general election when he was charged two years later (in 2018),” Gurdial argued before judge Khadijah Idrus.

He was responding to submissions by Najib’s legal team yesterday that the court should dismiss the striking out bids by Ambank and Yu and allow the main suit to go for a full trial.

Najib’s counsel Harvinderjit Singh had submitted this was because there were many issues that could only be dealt with properly by a full hearing.

Among them was that Najib was allegedly not aware of the alleged manipulation of his accounts that resulted in the inflow of millions of ringgit and that Yu and AmBank should have informed him about the alleged matter.

On Dec 10 last year, it was reported that Najib had filed a lawsuit against Yu and the commercial bank for allegedly taking instructions from and revealing his account information to 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho also known as Jho Low.

On Jan 29, Yu filed her application to strike out Najib’s suit. Later, AmBank followed suit with a similar application.

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On Jan 26, 2016, it was reported that then attorney-general Apandi announced during a press conference at Putrajaya that no charges would be brought against Najib in relation to the alleged inflow of RM42 million into the then premier’s bank account, among others.

During today’s proceedings, Gurdial argued that Najib not filing the suit earlier against Yu or the bank strengthened the contention that the main suit was an attempt to bolster the former premier’s own defence in his RM42 million SRC International trial for alleged abuse of power, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering.

On July 28, a separate Kuala Lumpur High Court had convicted Najib of one count of abuse of power, three counts of CBT and three counts of money laundering linked to RM42 million of SRC International’s monies. He has been sentenced to 12 years in jail and RM210 million fine.

“Najib was relying on Joanna Yu’s testimony in the (SRC International) criminal case. Otherwise, they would have brought it (the suits against Yu and AmBank) in 2016.

“But they (Najib’s legal team) waited until the SRC (trial) was on, then the SRC (trial) commenced, then Yu testified (in the SRC trial) from July to August (last year) and then this suit was filed after Joanna Yu’s testimony, not from then attorney-general (Apandi) exoneration (in January 2016),” Gurdial submitted.

Gurdial also noted that the court which convicted Najib had rejected his defence that he did not know about alleged wrongdoing involving monetary flows into his Ambank accounts.

According to the cause papers of Najib’s main suit against Yu and Ambank, he said he did not know about the alleged account manipulation until Yu’s testimony during the SRC trial last year.

After submissions this afternoon, Khadijah fixed Sept 28 for a decision on Yu’s and AmBank’s applications to strike out Najib’s lawsuit. – Malaysiakini