Hearing of govt’s bid to stop PetroSaudi from using 1MDB funds to resume Feb 20, 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: The hearing of the government’s application to block PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) and its director Tarek Obaid from using US$340 million (RM1.61 billion) linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) held in a client’s account at a law firm in the United Kingdom (UK), will continue at the High Court here on Feb 20 next year.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh set the date after Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi requested a resumption of the hearing as he was still waiting for the latest developments from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) regarding the case.

“In this case, the applicant (prosecution) understands the court’s concern that this case has been going on for a long time, and the parties have not completed their arguments. However, the parties would agree with the court’s decision if another date for the arguments can be set.

“This will be able to help the applicant to resolve some matters where there are witnesses whose conversations have just been recorded and may have an impact on this case,“ said Ahmad Sazilee during the case management proceedings today.

Asked by Judge Ahmad Shahrir, whether the statement of the witness had already been recorded, Ahmad Sazilee said: “It is still ongoing, and our side is waiting for the latest developments from the enforcement agency (MACC) because we do not know what is content of the statement.”

Lawyer Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, who represented Obaid, suggested that the final hearing for the case should be set since the case had been going on for a long time, and if there was any application it should be filed before the hearing date.

Lawyer Alex Tan representing PSI, PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Limited (PSOS-VZ) and Temple Fiduciary Services Limited, which are the second, third and fifth respondents said he adopted Mohd Yusof’s argument.

Following that, Judge Ahmad Shahrir set Feb 20, 2024, for the final hearing and for any application to be filed before the date.

On July 16, 2020, the court granted the government’s application for a temporary order to prevent the parties involved from moving money linked to 1MDB and keeping it in an escrow account held by Clyde & Co.

The order is to maintain the status quo of the parties involved until the disposal of the government’s application to obtain an order to prevent any dealings involving money belonging to PSI and its subsidiary PSOS-VZ which are currently in the account.

The Malaysian government claimed that the money involved came from 1MDB funds in a joint venture with PSI to establish 1MDB PetroSaudi Ltd in 2010.

The application, filed under Section 53 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, names Obaid, PSI, PSOS-VZ, Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary as the first to fifth respondents. – Bernama