KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 ― The US$1.357 million out of US$340.26 million (RM1.4 billion) kept in a London law firm can now be released to PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Limited (PSOS-VZ) after the High Court today allowed the company’s application to amend an interim order which prohibited it from moving the monies to other entities.
The monies were said to be linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The funds, which belong to PSOS, are currently in an escrow account held by Clyde & Co Co LLP in the United Kingdom.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made the ruling after lawyer Alex Tan, representing PSOS-VZ, said a court in London had allowed provisions to be made regarding the payment of business expenses and legal fees.
“And also after considering the position taken by the prosecution not to object to the application, I allow the request,” he said.
(PSOS-VZ) is seeking to vary the terms of the interim order obtained by the government from the court on July 16 for part of the monies to be released to pay for business expenses and legal costs.
Earlier, Tan informed the court that UK High Court judge William Spencer Philip Trower had on Aug 12 allowed the amount sought by Kerman & Co, if the temporary freeze order made by Mohd Nazlan was varied until the hearing and disposal of the Malaysian government’s application to forfeit US$340.26 million.
The application will be heard on Aug 28.
The US$1.357 million is to be paid to UK-based law firm Kerman & Co following the conclusion of the arbitration by the company.
Senior lawyer Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, representing Tarek Obaid, the co-founder of PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI), was also present today.
Last July 16, Justice Mohd Nazlan allowed the government’s application for an interim order to block PSI and its director Tarek from moving over US$340 million to other entities until the disposal of the main application on Aug 28.
The government had filed the application on July 10, seeking a prohibition order to restrain any dealings of the monies amounting to US$340,258,246.87 belonging to PSI and its subsidiary, PSOS-VZ held in Clyde & Co LLP.
The government is also seeking unspecified money that was deposited under an intermediate account name, Temple Fiduciary Services Limited, at Barclays Bank in the UK.
Both the specified and unspecified monies belong to PSOS-VZ, which is wholly owned by Tarek through PSI.
The application, filed under Section 53 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA), named Tarek, PSI, PSOS-VZ, Clyde & Co and Temple Fiduciary as the first to fifth respondent. ― Bernama