Home English News Najib withdraws application to disqualify to represent IRB in tax suit

Najib withdraws application to disqualify to represent IRB in tax suit

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KUALA LUMPUR: Private lawyer Datuk D.P. Naban will continue to represent the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) in a  suit to recover RM1.69 billion unpaid tax from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

This was after Najib’s defence team withdrew the application for Naban to recuse himself from acting for the IRB.

Lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, who is representing Najib, told the media that they had received the letter of Naban’s appointment on  Dec 11, 2019.

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“After studying the letter, we decided to withdraw the application for the lawyer to recuse himself as we did not find any conflict of interest in the appointment of Naban to act for IRB,”  he said after meeting High Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Bache in chambers during case management today.

Muhammad Farhan said according to the letter, Naban was appointed under Section 24 (3) of the Government Proceedings Act 1956.

He said the court had set Jan 7 next year for case management to fix hearing dates for the stay proceedings application sought by Najib and IRB’s application for summary judgment against Najib.

On Aug 8, Najib filed an application for a stay of proceedings of IRB’s suit seeking him to pay RM1.69 billion in income tax, pending an appeal on the tax assessment to IRB.

However, the IRB, in its supporting affidavit, said that Najib still has to pay the total amount of RM1.69 billion even if he has filed an appeal against the tax assessment.

IRB Monitoring Unit assistant director Hisyamuddin Mohd Hassan, in his supporting affidavit, said that according to Section 103 of the Income Tax Act 1967, all the assessed tax shall be due and payable on the day the notice of assessment is served whether or not the person appeals against the assessment.

On June 25, the government through IRB filed the suit against Najib seeking him to pay RM1.69 billion in unpaid tax with interest at five per cent a year from the date of judgment, as well as cost and other relief deemed fit by the court.

— BERNAMA