LAST_UPDATESat, 21 Jul 2018 9pm

Court Requests Legal Firm Representing 1MDB To Use Substitute Service

PUTRAJAYA -- The Federal Court has requested a legal firm to consider using other avenues to communicate with its client before discharging itself from representing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in a lawsuit brought by Gerakan Anak Muda Tolak Najib (Gant1).

Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zainun Ali who chaired the three-man panel told counsel Michelle Lai to use "substitute service" when she (Lai) informed the court that her firm was unable to get instructions from its client.

Lai,who is appearing for legal firm Messrs Tan Hock Chuan & Co, said they went to 1MDB office but it was closed and they had also tried to communicate via fax but failed.

She said the application today was for the firm to discharge from representing 1MDB in the suit.

The firm was representing 1MDB in a suit brought by Gant1.

Zainun told Lai that she could put an advertisement as substitute service and if she failed then she could file an affidavit to discharge.

Zainun then rescheduled the matter for case management on Aug 13.

Presiding together with Zainun were Justices Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

"If you want to withdraw from representing your client, your client got to know, to be fair to them," Justice Aziah told Lai.

Ten members of GANT1 headed by Parti Amanah Negara Youth deputy chief Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, filed the suit against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, 1MDB and the government in July last year.

The lawsuit was over a consent award at the London Court of International Arbitration entered by 1MDB with International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) concerning 1MDB's alleged USD$3.5 billion bond assistance from IPIC and its subsidiary Aabar Investment PJS (Aabar Asli) for the purchase of an energy plant.

At the High Court, Najib, 1MDB and the government had failed to strike out the suit when Justice Hue Siew Kheng ordered the case to go to trial. However, this was overturned by the Court of Appeal earlier this year, prompting Gant1 to bring the matter to the Federal Court.