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Taib to be summoned in son's divorce case

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud will be called as a witness in the divorce proceedings of his son Mahmud Abu Bekir, when the case resumes on Jan 16.

This is because Abdul Taib had lived in the same compound as his son and then wife Shahnaz A Majid and was a witness to disputes between them, the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court heard today.

“He can prove whether or not (Bekir) assaulted (Shahnaz) as they lived in the same compound,” said Shahnaz’s lawyer Rafiee Shafiee.

The seven who will be called as witnesses in January include Taib's daughters Jamilah Hamidah and Hanifah Hajar, and his brother Onn Taib.

Rafiee told judge Muhammad Abdullah that these witnesses will be called to testify about contracts involving companies Titanium Management and Cahya Mata Sarawak, of which Bekir is group deputy chairperson.

The witnesses will also be asked about dealings of companies linked to the Taib family, Sakto International in Canada and Sakti International Corporation in the US, and “assets held in England, Australia and Indonesia”.

Judge: Attend or I’ll issue arrest warrant

Earlier, the judge had adjourned the hearing of the RM100 million mutaah (consolidatory gift) claim by Shahnaz, since Bekir was absent.

Shahnaz ( left in photo ), who was scheduled to testify today, requested an adjournment as she wants Bekir to hear what she has to say on the stand.

“I am warning the defendant (Bekir) that if he does not show up (in January) a warrant of arrest will be issued,” the judge said.

A warrant of arrest had previously been sought due to Bekir’s repeated absence, but had been rejected as his lawyer Saadiah Din said he was recuperating from an injury in the United Kingdom.

Shahnaz, who is sister of jazz queen Sheila Majid, is suing Bekir for RM400 million in joint matrimonial assets following their divorce in May, after 19 years of marriage.

Shahnaz, 48, claims that she and Bekir own residential properties in many places, thousands of hectares of land in Sarawak, and land in Bukit Tunku in Kuala Lumpur. They also have seven luxury cars that include the Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley and Maserati marques.

Their joint assets include shares in 15 companies, including CMS and Sarawak Cable Bhd.

The couple also possess assets in the form of savings, money in the Employees Provident Fund and Amanah Saham Bumiputera units.

‘Shahnaz shouldn’t use Datin Sri title’

Meanwhile, in a statement of defence, the legal team - which includes noted Syarie lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar - contended that Shahnaz cannot use the title ‘Datin Sri’.

“She no longer qualifies to use the title ... in the claims as she has divorced (Bekir),” it reads.

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