Azalina: Husam's rationale for suit drop doesn't make sense

Modified 26 Sep 2016, 10:04 am

Salor assemblyperson Husam Musa's justification for dropping the class action suit in the United States does not make sense, said de facto Law Minister Azalina Othman.

Husam and lawyer Matthias Chang filed a class action suit to hold in trust funds alleged embezzled from 1MDB seized by the US Department of Justice, but dropped the suit last Friday.

"Husam's saying that the withdrawal is for the purpose of aligning the claims following new developments in the case, is unacceptable.

"If there is necessity to furnish any additional facts to the pleading, this can be done without withdrawing the action through a supplementary application," Azalina said in a statement.

Husam said the suit was withdrawn to take into account the DOJ's deal with producer Red Granite Pictures, to set aside future profits from the film the Wolf of Wall Street, said to be funded using 1MDB money.

However, he said he needed to gather more details from his lawyers, while Chang assured that the duo know what they are doing.

Azalina said their actions last Friday showed the suit was "frivolous" and was a "cheap" publicity stunt.

"The duo, not only attempted to embarrass Malaysia, but can also be seen as unaware of the court processes and the basic requirements of filing a class action.

"They are politically motivated and rushed the matter for the purpose of gaining mere publicity by means of abusing the court," she said.

The DOJ in August filed lawsuit to seize more than US$1 billion assets believed embezzled from 1MDB.

Those named in the lawsuit include Red Granite founder and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's stepson Riza Aziz, Malaysian businessman Jho Low and Abu Dhabi officials Mohamed Badawy al-Husseiny and Khadem al-Qubaisi.

Najib said all identified in the suit must clear their names.

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