Malaysia PM Najib ordered to file defence over suit by sacked Umno member

The High Court's deputy registrar had ordered Najib to file affidavits in reply to a sacked Umno member's application to freeze his assets, pending the outcome of the main suit for alleged breach of trust.
The High Court's deputy registrar had ordered Najib to file affidavits in reply to a sacked Umno member's application to freeze his assets, pending the outcome of the main suit for alleged breach of trust.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was ordered on Monday (Sept 21) to file his defence by Oct 1 in response to a suit by a sacked Umno member over the RM2.6 billion (S$860 million) deposited into his personal bank accounts.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who is acting for former Langkawi Wanita Umno leader Anina Saaduddin, said the High Court's deputy registrar Norfauziah Mohd Nordin had ordered Datuk Seri Najib to file affidavits in reply to Ms Anina's application to freeze his assets pending the outcome of the main suit for alleged breach of trust, the Malaysian Insider reported.

Mr Mohamad said his client has until Oct 15 to file a reply to Mr Najib's defence if she wishes to, said the news portal.

He added that the court had given the Prime Minister the liberty to file any other application but it must be done before the next case management on Oct 21.

Ms Anina filed the suit on Aug 28 on behalf of the ruling party against Mr Najib, who is Umno president, to account for the money allegedly donated to him by a Middle Eastern individual to help the Barisan Nasional coalition retain power in the 2013 General Election.

She said earlier that she was suing the Prime Minister out of loyalty and commitment to the party. However, she was given the boot by Umno last week for violating the party line.

She has filed a separate suit to challenge her dismissal from the party, asking the court to declare her sacking as "invalid".

The former Umno member came under the spotlight after she was caught on video saying that Mr Najib had "lied" to Umno members by claiming all of them supported him. The video later went viral.

The Malaysian Prime Minister has been under pressure due to the alleged political donation and alleged financial mismanagement at state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which has a debt of more than US$11 billion (S$15.4 billion).

In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Malaysian government investigation had found almost US$700 million had been deposited into the Prime Minister's private accounts through entities linked to 1MDB ahead of an election in 2013. But the Malaysian leader has denied any wrongdoing.