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Najib Razak fails to reinstate lawsuit against former banker and AmBank

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by former prime minister Najib Razak to reinstate his lawsuit against former banker Joanna Yu, AmBank Islamic, and AMMB Holdings.

In a unanimous decision, a three-man panel chaired by Justice Yaacob Md Sam ruled that there was no appealable error by the learned High Court judge that could warrant appellate intervention.

"We find no merit in this appeal and therefore dismiss this appeal respectively with costs. The order of the High Court is affirmed," Justice Yaacob said on Thursday (Jan 27).

The court also granted costs of RM40,000 (S$12,823) to both the Ambank entities and RM35,000 costs to Ms Yu.

Justices Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim also sat on the panel during a Zoom proceeding.

Najib was appealing a Sept 28, 2020 Kuala Lumpur High Court decision which allowed an application by Ms Yu and the AmBank entities to strike out the lawsuit on the grounds that the legal action by him was unsustainable.

In her ruling, High Court judge Justice Khadijah Idris found that the plaintiff's lawsuit was scandalous, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.

Najib initiated the legal action on Dec 9, 2019, where he named AmBank, AMMB Holdings and Ms Yu as defendants for negligence when handling his bank accounts.

According to the statement of claim, Najib contended that AmBank and Ms Yu had committed negligence by disclosing information to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.

Najib claimed that the defendants had disclosed his bank statements, debit and credit remittance transactions, and balances of funds without authorisation to Low as the third party.

Ms Yu was the 54th prosecution witness testifying in the SRC International trial, where Najib has been found guilty of seven charges involving the misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC International's funds.

SRC International is a former subsidiary of state-backed sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

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