Former banker Joanna Yu succeeded in her bid to strike out a 1MDB-linked lawsuit against her by former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed the striking-out application by Yu (above), who is the former AmBank relationship manager, during open court proceedings this afternoon.
Today's ruling also applies to a similar bid by AmBank to strike out the suit against it by Najib.
Previously, it was reported that the court fixed today to deliver its decision over Yu and the commercial bank's striking-out bid against Najib's suit.
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.
While delivering her ruling this afternoon, High Court judge Khadijah Idris said that the legal action was unsustainable.
“After having considered the affidavits (among other evidence during previous proceedings), this court is of the view that the plaintiff’s action is scandalous, frivolous, vexatious, and an abuse of court process,” she ruled.
The judge noted that the facts of the case showed that Najib only commenced the suit against Yu and AmBank after the prosecution in the plaintiff’s RM42 million SRC International criminal case pointed out that he (Najib) never complained or sued the defendants (Yu and AmBank) over the alleged manipulation of his bank account by a third party.
“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 thus an abuse of court process,” Khadijah said.
On Aug 18 during the court hearing of submissions over the striking-out bid, Yu’s counsel Gurdial Singh Nijar questioned why Najib did not file any suit against the ex-banker when then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Najib of wrongdoing in the SRC case in 2016.
Gurdial had argued then 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. The sentence was 12 years in jail and a RM210 million fine.
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.
Near the end of proceedings today, Khadijah ordered Najib to pay RM30,000 and RM25,000 in costs to Yu and AmBank respectively.
Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah then informed the court that they will be filing an appeal against today’s verdict, with the filing most likely within the next couple of days.
Counsel Gurdial Singh Nijar and Yoong Sin Min appeared for Yu and AmBank respectively. Neither Yu nor Najib were present at court this afternoon.
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