Govt fails to forfeit luxury items belonging to Najib, Rosmah and family

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The High Court today dismissed the government’s bid to forfeit luxury items seized from Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor and their children by police after the 2018 general election.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had failed to prove that the items, on balance of probability, were bought using 1MDB funds.

“It is insufficient for the investigation officer to only set out in his affidavit movement of money into and out from the former prime minister’s accounts.

“No doubt there were huge amounts entering into his (Najib) accounts and flowed out, but the court cannot find guilt based on suspicion,” he said.

The government wanted to forfeit hundreds of items seized from Najib, Rosmah and 16 individuals and companies.

These include handbags, cash in different currencies, watches, shoes and 27 vehicles.

In his judgment, Zaini said the prosecution did not show the luxury items were bought using money in Najib’s bank accounts.

“In fact, the applicant (government) admitted some of the seized items were gifts.

“They merely listed down the properties seized and their value and, in turn, concluded that the respondents (Najib, Rosmah and their children) did not have the means to own such items based on their income.

“It is apparent that the investigating officer came to this conclusion based on his presumption. This is insufficient as they need to credibly prove a direct link between the money that was gained illegally to the cash found as well as the items bought,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong informed the court that they will appeal against the ruling. – FMT