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Thursday, 17 May 2018 | MYT 5:47 PM

Firm discharges itself, 1MDB now has no lawyer to represent it in a lawsuit

KUALA LUMPUR: The law firm representing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has discharged itself from acting for the company in a suit filed by former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.

He filed the suit to seek the return of jewellery worth US$27.3mil (RM115mil) to 1MDB.

1MDB's lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan told reporters this issue after meeting High Court judge Justice Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim in chambers Thursday.

Tan said the legal firm Tan Hock Chuan & Co has applied to withdraw itself from representing 1MDB as they could not get instructions, and the court later granted their application during proceedings.

“At the moment there is no lawyer for 1MDB but we will inform the company about the issue,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khairuddin's lawyer Damien Chan said the court has vacated the hearing of the striking-out application of his client's suit by the three defendants - former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, businessman Low Taek Jho, and 1MDB.

Chan said the court later fixed June 21 as the next case management for parties.

In the statement of claim filed on Aug 16 last year, Khairuddin had named Rosmah, Low and 1MDB as the first, second and third defendants respectively.

Khairuddin claimed that between June 2013 and March 2014, Low – a.k.a. Jho Low – had purchased jewellery from monies allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

He alleged that the jewellery — one pink diamond valued at US$23mil (RM96.77mil) and an accompanying necklace valued at US$4.3mil (RM18.08mil) — was received as a gift by the first defendant around March 2014.

The plaintiff is seeking an order directing the first defendant to return the jewellery to the third defendant, and an order directing the second defendant to pay the third defendant all sums of money allegedly misappropriated.