Husam, Matthias drop 1MDB class action suit in US court

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Salor assemblyperson Husam Musa and lawyer Matthias Chang have dropped their class action suit against US-based corporations and individuals linked to alleged embezzlement and money laundering involving 1MDB.

This is according to a court filing on Friday, in the New York Southern District Court, by US-based attorneys representing the duo.

Appended below is the listing for the notice of dismissal available for public viewing on the US Federal Court System's Public Access to Court Records (Pacer) online website, as noted on federal court cases monitoring service site pacermonitor.com.

"NOTICE OF VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff(s) and or their counsel(s), hereby give notice that the above-captioned action is voluntarily dismissed, WITHOUT prejudice against the defendant(s) Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Debra Whelan Johnson, Timothy Leissner, Christopher Joey McFarland, Metropolis IX Capital Advisors, LLC, Red Granite Pictures, Inc., Riza Shahriz Bin Abdul Aziz, Low Taek Jho. Document filed by Husam Musa, Matthias Chang. (Burke, Louis)."

According to Rule 41(a)(1)A(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff may voluntarily dismiss their suit without a court order by filing a notice of dismissal before the opposing party serves either an answer or a motion for summary judgment.

The voluntarily dismissal was also done without prejudice, which will give them leeway to file a new legal action in the future, if they so desire.

However, the reason the suit was dropped is unknown.

When contacted, Husam told Malaysiakini, "I have not received an explanation yet from my counsel, but they will update me soon."

Malaysiakini is also attempting to reach Chang for comments. The duo filed the suit in a US court in August.

Meanwhile, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Red Granite said, "Dismissing this frivolous lawsuit was the right thing to do because it never should have been filed in the first place.

"Red Granite continues to work on exciting new projects," added the film production and distribution company.

In an immediate reaction, Multimedia and Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak condemned "Western media" for not reporting that the suit had been dismissed.

"This lawsuit by Tun (Dr) Mahathir's henchmen generated global news and controversy when it was filed on 11 August (2016).

"But, strangely, the Wall Street Journal and other Western media haven't reported that yesterday the lawsuit was dismissed," he said in a statement today.

The class action suit was to seek damages for the theft of the state investment firm's funds as well as to recover assets acquired using the stolen funds.

The class action followed the US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil forfeiture suits which sought to seize more than US$1 billion in assets allegedly acquired using stolen 1MDB funds.

The DOJ claims that overall, US$3.5 billion of 1MDB funds were misappropriated.

US$731 million of this was found to have been transferred to the accounts of a figure the DOJ referred to as 'Malaysian Official 1' (MO1).

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has since confirmed MO1 is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Najib, however, has denied claims of misappropriating government funds.

But his stepson, Riza, is also named in the DOJ's court documents, and was one of the eight defendants in the class action suit by Husam and Chang.



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