KL fails in bid to forfeit luxury items seized from Najib

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's government failed in its bid yesterday to forfeit luxury items seized from former prime minister Najib Razak and his family.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed the suit, saying the government had failed to prove that the goods were bought using funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Deputy Public Prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong said the government will appeal against the decision.

"It is apparent that the investigating officer came to this conclusion based on his presumption," said Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan. "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."

The ruling follows the government's failed court bid in May to prove the RM114 million (S$37 million) seized from a residence linked to Najib was part of 1MDB's stolen funds.

Najib had claimed the cash was for election purposes.

The cash and the luxury goods were part of the RM1.1 billion of items seized in 2018 amid investigations into 1MDB. The inventory included a RM6.4 million diamond necklace, Hermes bags and Rolex watches.

The raids occurred a month after Najib's coalition lost the national elections, the first change in government since Malaysia achieved independence from Britain in 1957.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2021, with the headline KL fails in bid to forfeit luxury items seized from Najib. Subscribe