Legal Firm Discharged from Representing 1MDB in Diamond Necklace

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Firm discharges itself, 1MDB now has no lawyer to represent it in a lawsuit.

The High Court here today granted the application by a legal firm to discharge itself from representing 1MDB in former Batu Kawan Umno division chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan’s suit against the latter.

The plaintiff had sued the government-linked company to compel it to direct Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to return a 22-carat pink diamond necklace set worth US$27.3 million (RM108.3 million) that was allegedly bought with 1MDB funds.

Counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan told reporters that his legal firm applied to discharge itself after failing to receive any instructions from 1MDB.

“The court granted our application…. At the moment 1MDB has no counsel, but we will inform the company,” he told reporters after meeting High Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim in chambers today.

Meanwhile, Khairuddin’s counsel Damien Chan said the court had vacated the hearing fixed for today of the application by the defendants, Rosmah, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low and 1MDB to strike out the suit. He said the court fixed June 21 for case management, for the parties to update their status.

The defendants filed the application on September 7, 2017, on the grounds that Khairuddin had no locus standi to sue them.

Khairuddin filed the suit on August 16, 2017, claiming that between June 2013 and March 2014, Jho Low, through his agent, bought a pink diamond worth US$23 million and a necklace worth US$4.3 million from New York jeweller Lorraine Schwartz with money taken from 1MDB.

The jewellery was allegedly gifted to Rosmah in March 2014.

The plaintiff is seeking a court order for Rosmah to return the jewellery to 1MDB and for Jho Low to repay the amount of money allegedly taken from 1MDB, as well damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.