PETALING JAYA, Aug 11 – The family of late private investigator P Balasubramaniam has again filed a suit against Prime Minister Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor and seven others, this time for suffering intentional harm as a result of their exile in India.
A Santamil Selvi, who is also acting for the estate of Balasubramaniam and their minor child, said the nine defendants uprooted them from their home in Malaysia, deprived them of their normal lives, and caused them to suffer financial and non-financial losses.
They claim to have suffered trauma and mental anguish caused by the defendants and deprived of a home in familiar surroundings.
Santamil, together with her two children, Kishen and Menaga, are seeking damages with interest for losses suffered from July 2008 as a result of their five-year displacement.
“The defendants and each of them is liable for the intentional harm or injury caused to and suffered by the plaintiffs,” they said in the suit filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court last month.
Lawyer Americk Sidhu said the counsel for all defendants during a case management yesterday had applied to strike out the suit.
“They also wanted a stay to file their defence pending the outcome of the striking out application,” he told FMT.
Americk said lawyers for the defendants also questioned his authority to act for the plaintiffs.
The next case management is scheduled before Justice Hiew Siew Kheng on Sept 6.
Named as defendants are Najib’s brothers Ahmad Johari, Mohd Nazim, lawyers Cecil Abraham, Sunil Abraham, Arunampalam Mariampillai, commissioner of oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat and businessman Deepak Jaikishan.
Balasubramaniam, who was popularly known as PI Bala, was previously embroiled in a controversy over his two conflicting statutory declarations (SD) on the high-profile 2006 murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
In the present suit, the family said the defendants had caused Balasubramaniam’s second SD to be drafted without his instruction and further caused him to sign it under threat and inducement.
He was forced to leave Malaysia for India in a hurry after signing the second SD in July 2008, a day after the first was released.
The second SD dated July 4, 2008 is supposed to have cleared Najib of any involvement in the case.
Balasubramaniam in the second SD had said he wished to retract the entire contents of his first SD dated July 1, as it was made under duress.
On July 3, 2008, Balasubramaniam told a packed press conference organised by PKR that the contents of the first SD which implicated Najib and several others in the Altantuya murder, were true.
Balasubramaniam, a key witness in the Altantuya trial, died of a heart attack on March 15, 2013, weeks after returning from India.
He had worked for political analyst and Najib associate Abdul Razak Baginda who hired him to monitor Altantuya before her disappearance.
In June 2014, Santamil and her three children filed a suit for conspiracy after the discovery of new evidence appeared to implicate all the nine defendants in perpetrating the alleged wrong against them.
In December 2014, the High Court struck out the suit as Santamil had not obtained the letter of administration to represent her husband’s estate.
The court also ruled that the suit lacked cause of action as the ingredients to make up a conspiracy were sorely missing.
The Court of Appeal struck out Santamil’s notice of appeal on the grounds that eight separate notices of appeal should have been filed.
However, the appellate court proceeded to hear the appeal against Deepak as he did not apply to strike out the notice of appeal.
The Court of Appeal set aside the striking out against Deepak and ordered a trial to proceed in the High Court.
However, Deepak’s appeal in the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal decision was allowed which effectively meant Santamil’s suit came to an end.