The Malaysian government has failed to forfeit assets belonging to former Prime Minister Najib Razak, his wife, Rosmah Mansor, his family, and several other individuals and entities, Malay Mail reported.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed the suit as it deemed that the government had failed to prove that the assets were purchased using 1MDB funds.
On May 8, 2019, the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) had reportedly filed a notice motion to forfeit hundreds of items, allegedly linked to the 1MDB scandal.
These include luxury handbags, 27 vehicles, cash in various currencies, as well as a plot of land.
They were seized by the police in 2018 from Najib, Rosmah, their three children as well as 13 other individuals and companies.
Gaps in documents and events filed
High Court judge, Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, said on Nov. 8 that he had found serious gaps after considering affidavits filed by the AGC.
These gaps are in the elaboration of events and documents tendered in support of the allegations, Malay Mail reported.
In his ruling, Zaini said that the AGC had merely disclosed movements of money in and out of Najib's bank accounts and other entities concerned.
"It is insufficient to just set out the movement of monies to prove the offence," Zaini said.
"No doubt the huge amount of monies that went into the first respondent’s bank account and monies taken out raises a big question mark but the courts do not find guilt based on perceptions or suspicions," he added.
Applicant failed to identify sources of information
Zaini also noted that there were several instances where the applicant (Malaysian government) had failed to identify their source of information, Malaysiakini reported.
"The applicant came to a conclusion based on evidence which in my opinion was insufficiently produced in this application," he said.
Zaini highlighted that his ruling is strictly confined to the forfeiture suit, and not others.
He noted that the 1MDB trial is still ongoing.
Najib questions Mahathir and Tommy Thomas
In response to the latest ruling, Najib took to Facebook to seek clarifications from Mahathir and former Attorney General Tommy Thomas.In a lengthy Facebook post, Najib expressed that if given a chance, he would "demand an explanation" from both Mahathir and Thomas on the reason why they carried out a forfeiture suit against him when he had earlier confessed that these items were gifts.
He added a link to a previous Facebook post written on May 20, 2019, regarding the allegations made against him.
Najib also said he was the one who had to incur legal fees by attending court sessions for three years due to their suspicions.
"Mahathir and Tommy did not have to pay a single cent as all the prosecution costs and legal fees are borne by the government and people's money," he wrote.
Najib ended the post by writing, "Liars."
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Top image via Najib Razak/Facebook